What it means when you purchase an ISBN – who then becomes the publisher?

When you purchase an ISBN you have to declare who the ‘publisher’ is. And whoever owns the ISBN, they are then the publisher.

You can purchase an ISBN in two ways:

  1. You can go directly to Nielsens – who are the National ISBN Agency. You will be asked to provide information about your upcoming title and give details on your publishing name (this can be anything you wish). YOU will then be the ‘publisher’ and you will be required to register your book once it’s printed – you do this through the pubweb platform and will be given this information once you purchase your ISBN.

You will then be required (by law) to submit one copy of your book to the British Library and maybe required to submit a further five copies to the ALDL in Scotland.

Currently, a single ISBN is £97.00

  1. The second way to get an ISBN number is through a re-seller, like us, Compass-Publishing. If you buy an ISBN from us, then we become the publisher (as we own the ISBN).

Compass-Publishing is unique in that we relinquish any copyright or royalties from your work, and any profits from your book are yours. 

We also register your book for you – but YOU are responsible for sending the books to the libraries, mentioned above.

Currently, a single ISBN through Compass Publishing is £42.50

If you have any questions regarding ISBN’s or publishing rights, please do get in touch. Email me at info@compass-publishing.com and we will answer any questions you may have.

Remember, whichever way you get your ISBN, the subsequent publisher must be declared on your title verso page.