eBook ISBNs: Everything You Should Know

Publish Green provides two ISBNs, free of charge, when you distribute with us. You also have the option of supplying your own.

A unique ISBN  (International Standard Book Number) is assigned to every book sold through trade outlets (i.e., online retailers, wholesalers, etc.). ISBNs are publisher specific, and serve three main purposes: they identify your book within the trade, help track book sales, and provide essential information about your title.

Each version of your eBook (MOBI and EPUB) will have its own ISBN. Even though both file types have the same content, each one must have a unique ISBN. This allows retailers, consumers, and publishers to differentiate between the two formats of your eBook, for both purchasing and stock control purposes. If you have a print version of your book, your eBook ISBNs will be different from that, as well.

ISBNs Provided by Publish Green

Every ePublishing package that includes distribution also includes two ISBNs - one for the MOBI  format (Kindle) and one for the EPUB format (iPad, Nook, etc.).  The ISBNs that we provide will associate your eBook with Publish Green. Publishers buy ISBNs in blocks, so certain numbers within the ISBN identify the publisher of the book. If you have published with another imprint within Hillcrest Media (Mill City Press, for example) we will request ISBNs that are associated with that particular imprint. Unless you already have a publisher that you would like to be listed under, we recommend that Publish Green provide your ISBNs - this will be easier and more cost effective for you!

ISBNs Purchased by Authors for Use at Publish Green

If you elect to supply your own ISBNs, you’ll need two things:

  • A publisher name (it can be anything you’d like as long as the name isn’t trademarked or already being used);
  • Two unique ISBNs - one for each format of your eBook (ISBNs can be purchased from www.MyIdentifiers.com in blocks of one, ten, one hundred, or one thousand)

How and Where to Purchase ISBNs

You can purchase a block of ISBNs at www.MyIdentifiers.com. (This is directly from the agency, Bowkers, that supplies ISBNs.) When you get there, the first thing you’ll need to do is create an account. When you create your account, you will provide your publisher name and contact information. After your account is created, you’ll be able to log in and purchase your block of ten ISBNs.

If you plan to buy two individual ISBNs, you’ll still need to create a MyIdentifiers.com account to make your purchase. Remember, however, that you’ll need to provide a unique ISBN for each version of your book. If you’re planning on printing both a hardcover and softcover in addition to your eBook version, it may be more cost effective for you to purchase a block of ten ISBNs rather than buying each individually.

A Few Points to Keep in Mind:

  • Any files with Publish Green (or other Hillcrest Media) ISBNs can only be distributed by Publish Green. If Publish Green supplies your ISBNs, but you decide at a later date to take on your own distribution, we will provide you with copies of your files in which the ISBNs have been removed. 
  • If you choose to supply your own ISBNs, please keep in mind that we will need two unique ISBNs, one for your EPUB file and one for your MOBI file. Your eBook ISBNs must be different from your print book ISBNs and any other electronic versions you may have done.



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