Get an ISBN

Review this article for more detailed information on ISBNs.

Choosing Free vs. Paid ISBN #

Choose a paid ISBN if…

  • You are publishing through both KDP and IngramSpark
  • You are interested in getting into brick-and-mortar bookstores or libraries
  • You want to choose your own publisher name

Choose a free ISBN if…

  • None of the above apply

Tip: Unless you are only publishing for friends and family, you’ll likely want to secure your own paid ISBN.

Secure a Free ISBN #

  1. Log in to Amazon KDP.
  2. Navigate to your bookshelf.
  3. Click create. Choose paperback or hardcover, as appropriate.

Tip: Free ISBNs are not available for ebooks.

  1. Fill in the required fields:
    1. Book title
    2. Author
    3. Description
    4. Publishing rights (yes)
    5. Adult content (no)

Tip: These fields can all be updated later.

  1. Click save and continue.
  2. On the next page, click get a free KDP ISBN → Assign me a free KDP ISBN.
  3. Copy the generated number.
  4. Click save as draft.
  5. If you are publishing in paperback and hardcover versions, repeat 3–8 for the other version.

Secure a Paid ISBN #

  1. Log in to Bowker
  2. Add the necessary number of ISBNs to your cart:
    • Paperback +1 ISBN
    • Hardcover +1 ISBN
    • Ebook +1 ISBN (optional)

Tip: You do not need to purchase barcodes. If you plan to publish additional books in the future, you can purchase 10 ISBNs at a discounted price.

  1. Check out.
  2. Navigate to your ISBNs.
  3. Select an ISBN and click assign title.
  4. Fill in the required information, being careful that it exactly matches the title and author information you have given Blue Pen.

Tip: If the information does not match exactly, an error will occur when you attempt to publish.

  1. Copy the ISBN, and note which version of the book to which it is assigned (ebook, paperback, hardcover).
  2. Repeat 4–7 for each version of your book.
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