Getting Published or E-published/E-book through Amazon



I'm in the process of self publishing my first book. It will be a non fiction and I have several questions for you.

1) Since I am publishing through Amazon, do I need to get an ISBN?
2) Do I need to obtain copyright or would Amazon automatically do it for me?
3) Would any of the answers of the two questions change if I also make it "print on demand?"


Hi, Jackie.

Congratulations on writing your first book. That's quite an accomplishment.

Thanks for your questions. Here are my answers:

1)  Whether you need an ISBN or not depends on how widespread you expect to sell your book. If you're going to sell it exclusively on Amazon, then there is little need for an ISBN. If, however, you want to sell it through other distribution channels (namely bookstores), then you'll need an ISBN. One of the primary benefits of an ISBN is that your book is registered in the Books In Print catalog. If you're going to sell exclusively through Amazon, this may not be an issue. If you're not going to sell through bookstores or libraries, then being listed on Amazon may be as good (or better) than being listed in Books In Print. The decision to obtain an ISBN really boils down to how you plan to sell your book.

2)  Copyright is a legal issue and I'll say upfront I'm not a lawyer. If you're truly concerned about copyright, then I'd suggest consulting an attorney, particularly one that specializes in publishing. That said, a de facto copyright is granted to you the minute you publish your book through Amazon. Amazon will establish the publication date so if any question arises, you can always refer to that date as the legal proof of publication. As with any legal action, however, how aggressively you enforce the copyright will depend on your financial resources to do so.

3)  Making your book print-on-demand (POD, for short) matters little to the questions above. POD is merely another method of printing; similar to offset printing in that regard. It will have no bearing on whether or not you get an ISBN or the copyright.

I hope that adequately answers your questions.

Best regards,

Getting Published or E-published

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Bill Frank


I help authors become publishers. I'm a self-publishing consultant with resources in editing, graphic design, printing, distribution and marketing. I can help you turn your manuscript into a published book. I identify the best distribution channels for your book. I also help you build a marketing plan to sell the book. I specialize in non-fiction books and I take fiction books on a selective basis.


Book layout and design; book printing; channels of distribution and book marketing.

Publishers' Marketing Association. Book Publicists of Southern California.

MBA in Marketing and Finance. BA in Economics.

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