Publishing Tip from Mill City Press

How ISBNs Affect Your Entire Self-Publishing Journey

Hi Jane,

The ISBN—or International Standard Book Number—may not sound like it would have a huge impact on your self-publishing process, but it definitely can. It’s not the number itself that’s so important; it’s the planning you’ll need to do before either purchasing an ISBN or having one assigned to your book.

If you already plan to act as your own professional publisher, buying an ISBN could factor into that decision. Using an ISBN you’ve registered gives you complete ownership, meaning you can take your book to another publisher without having to get a new ISBN.

If your book is related to your business, creating a publisher name (which you use when registering the ISBN) can establish a stronger brand around your business and book, which can, in turn, help with marketing and building your author platform. Creating a brand around your book(s) applies to fiction titles as well, especially if you intend to publish more than one.

Depending on how much ownership you want over your book and what kind of branding your book needs, publishing under your own ISBN could be the right decision for your self-publishing process. But if you don’t want to purchase your own ISBN, MillCity Press includes ISBN assignment as part of our process. To discuss what option might be right for you and your book, talk to one of our Publishing Consultants.

The MCP Team

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