Frequently Asked Questions

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 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 in a different country 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 from (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 store. 

If you are printing you 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 through their forum. 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. 

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.
  • There is an additional fee if you want us to register your book with Nielsen (registration is optional). This is because we need to manually submit the information to Nielsen’s book database.
  • If your book if registered with Nielsen, then you will probably have to send 5 free copies of your book into the legal deposit in Edinburgh. They seem to request this automatically when books are registered.

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:

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.

If you have submitted a Membership application please be advised that your application will be manually processed and the ISBN numbers/images/registration emailed to you as soon as possible. 98% of orders are processed within 1-2 business days (24 – 48 hours).

If you haven’t received your order by email within 48 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 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 gets scanned at 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 will be 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, Gardeners, 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.

ISBN’s 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 with 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 on-going, 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:

  • Journals, periodicals, serials, newspapers (however single issues or articles, if they are made publicly available separately, may qualify for ISBN)
  • Advertising material
  • Printed music
  • Art prints
  • Greetings cards
  • Software that is not educational or instructional
  • Updating websites
  • 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.