Publishing a Book with ISBN

Many people are finding new ways to earn passive income by selling their knowledge. One of the technical tasks you will need to complete is getting a ISBN.

Acquiring an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) in Canada involves several steps, and while the process itself isn’t complicated, it’s important to follow the guidelines set by the regulatory body responsible for assigning ISBNs. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Understand the Purpose of an ISBN: An ISBN is a unique identifier for books, intended to facilitate the distribution and tracking of books in the marketplace.
  2. Determine the Need: If you’re publishing a book in Canada and intend to distribute it commercially, you’ll likely need an ISBN. If you’re only publishing a limited number of copies for personal or local distribution, you may not need one.
  3. Contact the Agency: In Canada, the agency responsible for assigning ISBNs is Library and Archives Canada (LAC). You can contact them through their website or by phone to start the process.
  4. Complete the Application: LAC provides an online application form for ISBN registration. You’ll need to provide information about the book, including title, author, publisher (which can be yourself if you’re self-publishing), format (e.g., paperback, ebook), and anticipated publication date.
  5. Pay the Fee: There is usually a fee associated with obtaining an ISBN. As of my last update, the fee for a single ISBN in Canada was $75. Fees may vary, so it’s best to check with LAC for the most current information.
  6. Receive the ISBN: Once your application is processed and approved, you’ll receive your ISBN(s) along with instructions on how to use them.
  7. Assign the ISBN: Each edition and format of your book (e.g., hardcover, paperback, ebook) requires its own unique ISBN. You’ll need to assign the appropriate ISBN to each version of your book.
  8. Include the ISBN on Your Book: It’s important to include the ISBN on the copyright page of your book, along with other relevant bibliographic information.
  9. Publish and Distribute: With your ISBN in hand, you’re ready to publish and distribute your book. Remember that having an ISBN doesn’t guarantee success; you’ll still need to market and promote your book effectively to reach your intended audience.
  10. Keep Records: Finally, make sure to keep accurate records of your ISBNs and their associated editions/formats. This will help with bookkeeping and future publishing endeavors.

Remember to check the latest guidelines and requirements from Library and Archives Canada, as procedures may change over time. Additionally, if you’re publishing in other countries, you may need to obtain separate ISBNs from the respective national agencies.