What is an ISBN?

An ISBN is an INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER that consists of 13 digits which identifies the publisher or imprint so that it can be added to the In-Publication-Data Library of Congress Catalogue. The purpose of the ISBN is to identify a books title, edition, and author allowing an efficient marketing by retailers, libraries, wholesalers and distributors to market and sell your book.

What types of books require an ISBN?

All books. Every title in every format must have an unique ISBN. Once an ISBN is assigned to a title it cannot be used for any other book title. They are non-transferable.

Will the ISBN assinged by AAPH be accepted internationally or just nationwide in the USA?

Our imprint of Absolute Author Publishing House is accepted both nationally and internationally.

Does ISBNs issued by AAPH expire?

Never! Once assigned, that number never expires even if the book goes out of publication.

Do all books require an ISBN?

ISBNs are not necessary to sell ebooks; none of the top online retailers require them; however, we at AAPH highly recommend it. Printed books, however, cannot be sold without an ISBN. Remember that each version of your book would need a separate ISBN.

Do I need a bar code for my ISBN or to sell a book?

Yes, all printed books need a bar code. It is easy to generate a bar code as most distributors will create one to your back cover upon uploading. If not, there are several free software applications to make your own. Just write us and we will give you the link.

As an author, can’t I purchase an ISBN from Bowker and self-publish?

Of course, you can. However, you will be considered self-published which has its downfalls. First, you won’t be able to get into a brick and mortar bookstore or sell to a library. Next, most bestseller lists such as USA Bestseller or New York Times Best Seller do not consider self-published book. Finally, the prestigious awards for books such as the Hugo Award, self-published books are not accepted. With an AAPH, you will be eligible for all of the above because you won’t be self-published.


The agreement to publish with us is contractually bound when you purchase an ISBN from us. You keep all copyright and distribution rights, and we do not take any royalties. We are not a distribution house or a distributor, places like Amazon and Ingramspark, are distributors where you upload the book, and they sell them or print on demand. WE DO NOT PRINT OR DISTRIBUTE…. We offer services to get you published , it really is that simple.

What is the difference between a publisher and a distributor?

Many authors are confused as to what a publisher does and what a distributor does. Some companies are both a publisher and distributor, but Absolute Author Publishing House only publishes, which means issues the ISBN for the Library of Congress In-Publication Catalogue. That’s what makes your book published. A distributor takes your completed manuscript and sells it. They do keep some of your royalties, print on demand, and send your book out.

Why you should not accept a free ISBN.

Please do your research before you accept a FREE ISBN from Amazon or Ingramspark. If you do, they will own your distribution rights and not you. Read their fine print. Also, you will not be able to sell your book in a bookstore because they will not take it if Amazon or another company owns the distribution rights. You may research this on Google by searching why you shouldn’t accept a free ISBN.

What will an author need to submit to purchase an ISBN through AAPH?

  1. Title
  2. Subtitle
  3. Author Name
  4. Three sentence bio of the author
  5. One to three-sentence synopsis or the book
  6. Format Style– eBook, paperback, audio, hardback. Please note that for each format, you will need a different ISBN.
  7. Retail Price
  8. Cover of Book in JPEG
  9. Genre
  10. Target Audience
  11. Date of Publication, if known.

Can AAPH get me into a brick and mortar store?

To get in a brick and mortar store is a process in of itself. It takes the author to go and meet with the manager of a store, bring them your sell sheet, and offer to do a book signing. If they like your book, etc., they purchase wholesale copies for the book and schedule a book signing. That is not something I nor anyone else can do for you. However, here is a lesson for you. A bookstore will not take a self-published author because the self-published ISBNs do not appear in the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS IN PUBLICATION DATA. However, they do accept the ISBNs from AAPH and most of my authors have their books in Barnes and Noble etc. Another lesson, DO NOT CHOOSE NONEXPANDED DISTRIBUTION ON AMAZON, WHICH IS OFFERED AT A HIGHER ROYALTY unless you only what to sell your book on Amazon. If you do, you can’t put it in a bookstore; their rules, Amazon’s. However, when you check EXPANDED DISTRIBUTION you can upload your book and sell it on multiple platforms. There is a lot to learn in the publishing world and we have been doing this for years.

How much does Absolute Author Publishing House sell their ISBNs for?

We offer our ISBNs at a discounted rate for our authors; in fact, lower than Bowker. The prices below are listed in USA dollars.

  1. Paperback ISBN – $100 (one ISBN)
  2. Paperback and eBook of same title – $180 (two ISBNs)
  3. Paperback, eBook, and hardback of same title – $240 (three ISBNs)
  4. Paperback, eBook, hardback and audio book of same title – $320 (three ISBNs)

Do I have to get my book approved before I purchase an ISBN?

Yes. The reason is that we must make sure that it meets industry publishing standards and that the copyright page and disclaimers meet those guidelines as well. We also will add our company logo onto that page.

How much royalties does AAPH take from my books?

None! That’s right, we take zero of your royalties. We  founded this company to help authors. The founding members are authors too and we understand that every penny counts. We honestly don’t make money from selling the ISBNs, rather from selling our services to help you get published such as editing and formatting. However, you don’t have to use our editing services to purchase our ISBNs. You are free to contract whomever you wish. How concern is that the final product meets standard publication guidelines.



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