Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our FAQs. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please contact us

If you live in the UK or Ireland, you can become a member of the Independent Publishing Network and get an ISBN number from us (our ISBN numbers can be used on books published in the UK and Ireland). To join our network and get an ISBN number for your publication, please go to this page.

If you live outside the UK or the Republic of Ireland, you’ll need to get an ISBN number from your local ISBN Agency instead. You can search for your local ISBN Agency on the International ISBN Agency website. If there is no ISBN Agency in your country, please contact the International ISBN Agency to find out where you can get an ISBN number (they will probably refer you to a neighbouring country’s ISBN Agency).

An ISBN Number is an International Standard Book Number. These are the retail barcode numbers used for books and are necessary for selling books both in stores and for selling e-books on sites like Amazon or Apple e-book stores. 

If you are printing your book for personal use, or to give away, then it is not necessary that you have an ISBN Number. However, the vast majority of retail stores and internet e-book sellers require ISBN numbers to sell on their platforms. So, yes, you probably need an ISBN.

Yes, you can if you live in the UK or Ireland. Our ISBN numbers can be used on any publication in the UK or Ireland. The ‘Independent Publishing Network’ will be the official publisher on record for your ISBN number.

To join our network and get an ISBN number for your publication, please go to this page. 

If you live outside of the UK or Ireland, we recommend you get your ISBNs from your national provider. Please see the International ISBN organisation website to find your county’s ISBN provider https://www.isbn-international.org/agencies.

If you are a resident of the UK or Ireland, please proceed to this page. 

Yes, it will. There are some key details that should be understood before you become a member of our Network:

  • “Independent Publishing Network” is listed as the book’s official publisher in Nielsen’s system.
  • “Independent Publishing Network” is listed as the distributor of the book in Nielsen’s system.
  • Copyright and all rights over the book remain with the author.
  • If your book is registered with Nielsen, then you will probably have to send five free copies of your book to the legal deposit in Edinburgh. They seem to request this automatically when books are registered on the Nielsen database.

Yes, you will. Copyright and all other rights/proceeds will remain with the author/editor.

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If you are self-distributing the book, the front matter could look like this (“Author” can either be your personal name or your pen name):

Publisher: Independent Publishing Network.
Publication date: 
ISBN: xxxxxxxx
Author: [Name]
Email: [Author's email address]
Address: [Author's postal address]
Website: [Author's website, if applicable]
Please direct all enquiries to the author.

If you are distributing your book through a third party, you could replace the author’s contact details with the distributor’s contact details (or include both) e.g:

Publisher: Independent Publishing Network.
Publication date: 
ISBN: xxxxxxxx
Author: [Name]
Distributor: [Distributor's name], [Distributor's website or contact details]
Please direct all book orders or enquiries to the distributor.

You automatically get copyright protection in the UK whenever you create original literary and artistic work, including illustration and photography. For more information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/copyright

You may want to mark your work with the copyright symbol, your name, and the year of creation (e.g. the example below). Marking your work in this way is completely optional and doesn’t affect the level of protection you have.

Copyright © year Author Name(s) 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by reviewers, who may quote brief passages in a review. 

ISBN __________________ 

Printed in ___country___

Your ISBN number and barcode images will be emailed to you automatically, as soon as you place your order (and make payment) on this website.

If you haven’t received your order by email within 24 hours (Monday-Friday), please check your junk folder and then email us. If you are using a Hotmail email address, our emails to you might end up in your junk mail folder. If you have used a Hotmail address, and you can’t find our email in your junk mail folder, please email us and let us know what alternative email address (a non-Hotmail one) we can use for you.

The ISBN barcode image should be placed on the bottom right corner of the back cover. The image size should be at least 30mm wide x 20mm high (including the white margins on the left and right sides of the barcode and including the ISBN number below the bars). The ISBN number should also be written on the copyright page within the book.
You need a different ISBN number for each different format of your book (paperback, e-book, hard copy). For example, if your publication is available as both an e-book and a paperback, then you will need two different ISBN numbers.  You also need a different ISBN number for each different language/translation of your book.

A new or revised edition needs a new ISBN number, however, a reprint does not.

A ‘new edition’ or ‘revised edition’ means that there has been substantial change – e.g. content has been changed in a way that might make a customer complain that this was not the product they expected, or text has been changed to add substantial new content (e.g. the addition of a preface or appendix, or other new content, chapters, or pictures). A new ISBN number is also needed if the content has been revised, or the book has been redesigned, or the title has changed.

A ‘reprint’ means more copies are being printed with no substantial changes (the reprint may have small insignificant changes – e.g. minor corrections or grammatical changes).

An ISBN number is a globally unique 13-digit identification number that is assigned to your publication. An ISBN barcode image is the vertical black bars & white spaces (with the ISBN number printed below) that get scanned at the Point of Sale. If you are selling your book in electronic format online only, then you only need an ISBN number (you don’t need ISBN barcode images). However, if your book is printed in a physical format (paperback or hardback), then we recommend that you purchase ISBN Barcode Images. If your book is for sale in retail stores, then it will need to have a scannable barcode image so that the checkout staff can quickly scan the barcode into their POS system when your book is being sold.
If you join our network and get ISBN numbers from us, then you can use those ISBN numbers on your books in the UK and Ireland (as well as overseas). We have members using our ISBN numbers on Foyles, Waterstones, Createspace, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Kindle E-Reader, AbeBooks, Biblio, Valore Books, eCampus, Barnes & Noble, TextbookRush, Chegg, etc.

To the best of our knowledge, every publisher, wholesaler, and distributor in the UK accepts our ISBN numbers. However, please note that we can’t guarantee that any particular retailer/distributor/publisher will accept our ISBN numbers, as individual ISBN policies can change at any time at their discretion. If you are unsure, please check with your retailer/publisher/distributor to confirm that they will accept our ISBN numbers.

If you are listing your book on Amazon, please remove the hyphens from the ISBN number (e.g. 9781234567812) and type “Independent Publishing Network” if you are asked to provide the “Imprint” or Publisher.

ISBNs can be assigned to one-off publications that are text-based (or predominantly text-based) and are available to the public. Examples are:

  • Printed books
  • Pamphlets
  • Maps
  • Some Educational/instructional films (they must have a specific educational outcome, therefore general-interest documentaries are not eligible)
  • Audio-books
  • E-books and other electronic or digitised publications
  • Educational or instructional software
  • Mixed media publications where the main component is text-based

Publications that are ongoing, regularly updated, and don’t have a defined end, are not eligible for an ISBN (periodical and magazine publications may be eligible for an ISSN instead). Some examples of products not eligible for an ISBN are below:

  • Colouring books, sudoku or crossword books
  • Journals, periodicals, serials, and newspapers (however, single issues or articles, if they are made publicly available separately, may qualify for ISBN)
  • Advertising material
  • Sheet music
  • Art prints
  • Greetings cards
  • Software that is not educational or instructional
  • Games

If you are the author or editor, please make sure (before you go to print) that your publication doesn’t contain defamatory statements. We accept no responsibility or liability for the content of any publications using our ISBN numbers.
You can convert your 13-digit ISBN number to a 10-digit ISBN number (or a 10-digit ISBN number to a 13-digit ISBN number) here: http://isbn.org/isbn_converter

That site can also show you where the hyphens should be placed in your ISBN number.

Yes, you can. Please email Barnes and Noble Press directly for any questions. Here is their email address [email protected]

B&N Press will check whether your book’s imprint (Independent Publishing Network) matches what’s on file with Nielsen. You will not be able to publish your book if there is a mismatch or if the ISBN is currently in use through wide distribution. If you are reprinting your book, the title, author name, and binding type must stay the same. A new edition requires a new ISBN.

Each different format of a book needs its own ISBN, meaning if you have different print versions of your book (i.e. Hard Cover with Dust Jacket or Paperback), each will need its own unique ISBN. ISBNs cannot be reused once they are assigned, so an ISBN cannot be used with your B&N Press print book if it already is assigned to a book that is on sale through wide distribution. Do keep in mind that an ISBN does NOT mean your book is copyrighted. Copyrights are issued through the Library of Congress.

B&N Press does not require a barcode when designing and uploading your print files. In fact, B&N encourage you to remove any barcodes from your formatted files before submitting projects to B&N Press. This is because B&N Press will add a barcode image (with your ISBN) to your back cover as you build your print book. If there is a barcode image already on your book, you may run into errors while uploading, such as your cover being rejected or the appearance of double barcodes.

B&N Press can provide you with a free ISBN to publish your print book. B&N will also automatically register your ISBN information with BooksInPrint.com®. This a global database of print books maintained by Bowker (the U.S. ISBN agency) and consulted by publishers, libraries, and booksellers. The “Publisher” field on your paperback’s B&N Press detail page will read “Barnes & Noble Press.” This will not appear in your interior and is only provided on your book’s detail page. This free ISBN can only be used on B&N Press for distribution to Barnes & Noble and BN.com. It cannot be used with another publisher or self-publishing service.

It is important for some authors to provide their own ISBN because it allows them to choose their book’s imprint of record. An imprint is a trade name that a publishing company uses to publish a work. If you use your own ISBN to publish your paperback, you’ll be prompted to enter the imprint name as well. The imprint you enter must match either the imprint or publisher name.

Yes, you can use our ISBNs on Kindle Direct Publishing as you own the rights to the ISBN. During your book setup, enter the 13-digit number and Imprint (Independent Publishing Network) for the ISBN. KDP offers a free ISBN, but these ISBNs would be pre-registered under the imprint name “Independently published.” Their free ISBNs only work on KDP.

Free ISBNs from KDP cannot be used outside of the Kindle publishing service. If you plan to publish your book elsewhere, it’s recommended you purchase (and register) your own ISBN.