Why Not to Use the Free ISBN Number on Amazon KDP

Why Not to Use the Free ISBN Number on Amazon KDP

What is an ISBN?

An ISBN is a unique identifier for a given book. The International Standard Book Numbering (ISBN) system is used to identify books, magazines, and other printed materials. An ISBN is a unique number that identifies books and other publications. It is used for tracking and identification purposes. The purpose of the ISBN is to provide a way for buyers to know what they are buying.

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) system was created to identify books and other publications. The ISBN identifies the title, publisher, and author of a book or publication. The ISBN also specifies the language of the book or publication, along with certain publishing details such as date of publication, price, edition number and so on. Publishers assign an ISBN to all new titles they publish, either as they are published or in advance of their release date.

What is Free ISBN on Amazon KDP

Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is a free to use platform to publish ebooks and print books. It is open for anyone from anywhere in the world to publish an ebook, paperback, and hardcover books on Amazon and beyond Amazon (using Amazon KDP extended distribution service). You don't need an ISBN when you are publishing your ebook on Amazon. It is optional because your ebook is only going to be sold on Amazon marketplaces. But print books like paperback and hardcover need ISBN as it allows you to print and sell books outside Amazon. And, ISBN is necessary for a print book as per publishing standards.

When you publish your print book (paperback and hardcover) on Amazon, you are allowed to use your own ISBN or generate a Free ISBN right in your KDP dashboard. Amazon will generate an ISBN for your book with one click. Your ISBN will have an Amazon imprint name or publishing name called “Independently published”. You don't need to do anything else when you plan to use Amazon's free ISBN. Amazon KDP makes it easy.

Why not to use the free ISBN number on Amazon KDP

Now you know by publishing standard, you must have an ISBN number for a print book. You can't publish a print book and sell it without an ISBN. Sure, you can print your book without an ISBN and get your book delivered to your address, but that book won't be salable. 

You have two options;
  • You can purchase your own ISBN or obtain an ISBN from your country's agency website. You might get it for free, depending on your country.
  • Use Amazon's free ISBN.
There are up and downsides to using Amazon's free ISBN. The upside is that it's FREE and easy to obtain. On another hand, the downside is that your book publishing will be limited in distribution and it looks unprofessional as your book says, “Independently published” out loud. You don't need to worry if you are planning to sell your books on only Amazon. But, If you want to sell your print book outside Amazon, then it is highly recommended to get your own ISBN under your own imprint name. 

If you are low on the budget, then you might consider buying ISBN from a third-party reseller at a low cost, but you have to use their imprint name. This third-party option is a much better choice than using Amazon free ISBN. I hope I have cleared up this for you.
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