PDFs, ISBNs and knowing your Ps and Qs PDQ

Your printed book needs an ISBN.

PDF books need an ISBN that distinct from your printed book’s ISBN.

ePUBs need an ISBN that’s disinct from your PDF and your Hard copy book.

However . . .

ePUB is a the universal international eBook standard.

Nook books are ePUB and do not require you to have an ISBN. They use an internal identifier.  If you have an ISBN, you can use it.

Apple books are ePUB too. The do require that you have an ISBN. They also use an internal identifier.

If you have or plan to create an ePUB of your  book to sell on various vendors, the ISBN you put on that can be used on the Nook and Apple versions too because they are all ePUB format.

This is what we’ve been told, always double check.

Amazon’s AZW / Mobi books (Kindles) also do not require an ISBN.  A Kindle book will be assigned a number from Amazon, called an AISN.

You can give the Kindle one if you like, but Amazon’s format, which is mobi but tweaked so they call it azw, is not widely used. It’s not going to be sold anywhere else in this format.

Take away?

So, if you have one ISBN  . . . you probably want to sell an ePUB version that can be widely sold through various vendors, including sold as a Nook and iPad version.

This won’t exclude you from sale at Amazon, because Amazon will convert your .doc to mobi/azw and will sell your ebook too, but with an internal AISN.

This means you probably won’t be selling as a PDF (unless you have a spare ISBN lying about). But since the major markets are covered, do you really care?

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Published in: on September 13, 2011 at 7:07 AM  Leave a Comment  
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