Assign an ISBN to your book

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What’s an ISBN?

An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique 13-digit number used to identify a book. Considered an industry standard, ISBNs are used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, wholesalers, and distributors to identify, organize, and track books.

Pronoun requires an ISBN to publish your book, track your sales, and send you data-driven marketing recommendations customized to your book.

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Assign an ISBN for your ebook

As an author publishing on Pronoun, you can provide your own ISBN, or we can assign one to your book for free. To use a free ISBN provided by Pronoun, click the switch to select “Give me an ebook ISBN when I publish,” and we will automatically assign one to your book during distribution.

Get a free ISBN from Pronoun

If you use your own ISBN, you can register yourself or another publisher of your choosing as the ISBN’s Publisher of Record. This means you can use the same ISBN if you unpublish your book on Pronoun and republish it somewhere else.

If you use the free ISBN provided by Pronoun, Pronoun will be registered as your ISBN’s Publisher of Record. You can still remove your book from Pronoun and publish it elsewhere, however, you’ll need a fresh ISBN.

Either way, you can customize the publisher shown on retailers and inside your book to something other than Pronoun. Additionally, you retain all rights to your work, and have the ability to stop selling your book through Pronoun and republish it elsewhere at any time.

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Why isn’t Pronoun accepting my ISBN?

The ISBN is assigned to a book that is already live on retailers. 
We can’t publish books to retailers where they are already live. Please remove your book from sale on the retailers you want to use Pronoun for, or go to the last section of your book’s details and de-select the retailers where your book is already live.

For example, if you get a “This ISBN is already live on Kobo” error, unpublish that version of your book on Kobo or opt out of distribution to Kobo through Pronoun.

If you recently removed your book from sale, please note that it can take a few hours or a day for us to register the ISBN as fully offline on that retailer, even if the book listing has gone down.

 

The ISBN is assigned to a print book. 
Print books and ebooks need different ISBNs. If you’ve already published the print version of your ebook, add its ISBN to the “Print ISBN” field. You will need to provide a new ISBN (or opt to use a free ISBN from Pronoun) for your ebook.

 

The ISBN is being used by another book on Pronoun. 
If you publish a new book, it needs a fresh ISBN, so you can’t reuse a Pronoun-issued ISBN assigned to a previous book. If you start a new book and then decide to start over in a new book project, remove the ISBN from your previous project.

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Add a print ISBN

If you currently publish the print version of your ebook, add its ISBN in this section. Then, retailers will automatically link the two formats of your book.

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When do I need a new ISBN?

You can update your book without changing your ISBN, so feel free to tweak your title, update your cover, add a preface, and fix typos.

You’ll need a new ISBN if you:

  • Publish your book as both a paperback and an ebook. Print and digital formats each require a unique ISBN. (You only need a single ISBN for the digital version of your book, so it’s fine to have .epub and .mobi files of the same book with the same ISBN.)
  • Publish a separate edition of your book. Each edition needs its own ISBN.
  • Republish your book with a new publisher. Our free ISBNs list Pronoun as the Publisher of Record, so your book needs a fresh ISBN if you unpublish on Pronoun and republish elsewhere.

Note that once an ISBN has been assigned to a book, it belongs to that book forever. ISBNs can’t be reused or transferred to another book, author, or publisher.