Did you know it only takes one?


That’s right, one ISBN to print with IngramSpark and CreateSpace.

We all want our books available in as many places as possible but if the same paperback book has more than one ISBN, it can become confusing.

There is an order to this madness. And steps you can take to stay sane as you wade through the swamp of self-publishing.

  • First, purchase your ISBN number from Bowker.

Yes, it costs to buy your own ISBN but you retain more control. Consider buying in bulk rather than one at a time. I found it cheaper to go that route. The numbers never expire and they are yours to use for future books.

  • Second publish your book with IngramSpark (Lightening Source) first

This is very important. You must publish with them before CreateSpace.

  • Third, register log onto Bowker and register your book title which connects the ISBN to the publication.

Registering your book title is super important, don’t skip this step.

  • Last upload your book via Createspace. 

At the ISBN page, choose “provide own ISBN.”

screenshot isbn

That’s it! Your book will now be available through both IngramSpark and Amazon.com (CreateSpace) but the book will have the same ISBN number.

Why is this important?

Whether your Aunt Tilly orders it from Amazon or your local library orders a copy through IngramSpark for their shelves, the ISBN is the same.

I’ve not decided it this is important for ebooks yet.

What do you think? Do you think it’s important to own the ISBN for ebooks as well as print books?

Talk to me, the lights on and comments are now open.

For more information about ISBNs click on the article at the bottom.

You can find me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdelland Amazon.com, stop by and say hey! Please remember to click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.

And One ISBN Shall Bind Them…. by Amy Collins



7 thoughts on “Did you know it only takes one?

  1. Hi Jean I have an ebook with Amazon, but also created a printed version for family in the UK. I used the ISBN number that Create Space provided me with . I thought that meant that the number stayed the same. I didn’t realise that there could be one or two numbers. Thanks for this advice, I will certainly look into this when I publish my next book 🙂


    1. Suzanne, ebooks, and print books do have different numbers. Each type or format has a different identifier number. The confusion comes when you want the book available to libraries etc who usually order through IngramSpark. The fee number from Createspace is owned by them, not you. Hope this helps.

      Liked by 2 people

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