Getting Published or E-published/ISBNs


Hi Mrs. Clamp,

I am a self-published author through CreateSpace and my book's ISBN was assigned to me by CreateSpace, but I would like to also publish my book through LightningSource as I have read about the advantages it has (esp. the "returnable books" feature through IngramSpark). When I try to do this, however, I get an error message saying the ISBN is already in use on the Ingram database.

I turned off CreateSpace's expanded distribution feature two days ago hoping this would "unlist" my ISBN from the Ingram database, but I still get the same message. Does this mean I have to buy a new ISBN if I want to publish it on both platforms? ...Or would 2 ISBNs for one book confuse customers?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Best regards,
Juliette Rogasik

Hi, Juliette!

Sorry for the delay in responding. My email went down for a while and I'm just catching up on the backlog.  Something that a lot of self-published authors don't realize is that when an ISB number is assigned, it belongs not to the book or to the author, but to the publisher. Part of the construction of how the number is created defines the publisher. So Createspace is different from Lightning Source in the same way that Macmillan is different from Random House. A book can't carry a number from one place to another.

So yes, a book on two different platforms would need two different numbers; and, in fact, different formats need different numbers. An ebook should have a different number from a paperback, and from a trade paperback, and a hardback.

If you want to read more about how ISBNs work, I actually have an article on my website about it. Go to http//, click on "Craft" and "Cathy Teaches Writing." It's articles 9 and 10

Hope that helps! Good luck.


Getting Published or E-published

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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of getting published through commercial publishers, ebook publishers and self-publishing I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology, acronyms and manuscript formatting. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011. I've also published short stories in multiple anthologies as well as regional and national magazines.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Books/Anthologies: Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many more. Magazines: Rocky Mountain Game & Fish, Guns & Ammo, Fur-Fish-Game, many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, 2007, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, 2006, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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