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Writing Books/2 different isbn#'s to the same book??


Hello again . .

Ok .  . . . thank you .  . . I guess my head was on straight after all . . .

But can a book have 2 different isbn#'s. Maybe I need to know what the purpose of one is.
Please advise.
Thank you

Followup To

Question -

After many weeks of battling over to self publish or go with a big publishing house, or even considering an agent, I came up with this idea and would like to know if this is wise or not:

Have a commercial printer print a 100 books or what ever the number should be. Promote my book on my own. I already have isbn #'s so I'll use another one. Add this new book to my existing Amazon account, sell it through my website, my business contacts etc.  Keep refining my pitches to the big publishing houses and other businesses until I get picked up and then have the book reprinted for mass amounts with now a new isbn#.

The other question is: Can an author have one book out being sold with 2 different isbn#'s (me selling on my own and a publishing house who insist printing with their number)?

Many thanks!

Answer -
Hello and thanks for the question.  Your 1st suggestion is the right one where you work hard and sell and promote your book which by the way is what is expected if you went with a big publisher but in self publishing you get to keep most of the money.  Once you build up your book, get a trend and know what can be done should a publisher come along you have leverage to strike the deal that makes sense for you.  Let me know if you need anything else.

ISBN is the specific part number for your book for the world.  There are two numbers assigned to your book now which is the original 10 digit number and as of 2007 a 13 digit number which is a derivative of the 10 digit number which you get when you use the 13 digit converter on the Bowker site.
Now when a publisher or author does a trade paperback and a case or hard bound book you need an ISBN for each style (isbn for the trade paperback and a different one for the case or hard bound) in many cases both ISBN's are listed on the copyright page to let the consumer know that the book is offered in both styles.
Hope this answers your question.

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Tom Campbell


When you are ready to print your book I can help you with how to prepare your book for the printer, what to expect from a printer and what you must understand yourself. How long does it take to print a book and methods of printing that make sense and what your costs should be in the process.


25 years of business experience including web development and printing. Currently Senior Vice President of Sales for King Printing Company. I'll approach all questions objectively.


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