How to get your an ISBN number as a self-publishing Indian Author from isbn.gov.in for free – Step by step guide with screenshots.
As a self-publishing Indian author, getting an ISBN seems the most challenging task. As a digital author, it sounds scary when you find out that you will need to get it from a Government organization.
Rest assured, it is effortless, and you can get the ISBN from the comfort of your home without having to do any physical documentation.
Before we begin the process of getting an ISBN, let me share some crucial information about ISBN.
What is an ISBN Number?
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. As of now, it is a 13-digit code to identify a book uniquely. Moreover, each version and edition of the book has a different ISBN.
A book in multiple formats, aka paperback and ebook, each will have its own unique ISBN. Even if the same book is translated into multiple languages and published, each version will have its ISBN.
Now we have a 13 digit ISBN, but prior, they were 10 digits only. The old 10 digits ISBN Numbers can be converted to a 13-digit code with this conversion tool by ISBN.org.
A couple of interesting points to note about ISBN is, they never expire and are non-transferable. So, if you have applied for an ISBN for a paperback but later decide only to release an eBook, you have to get a new ISBN and can’t transfer the existing one from the paperback version to an eBook version.
I will like to clarify that if you wish to self-publishing an eBook on Amazon, you don’t need an ISBN. Moreover, Amazon will allocate it to you. Still, there is no harm in getting one and use it on Amazon.
How does an ISBN Number Look?
It is a barcode type number that you will find on any book on the back cover bottom right. Here is my ISBN for my book Right Stock at Right Price for Right time.
If you wish to learn how to read the ISBN, you can go through the article on WikiHow. I won’t get into the details of what each number represents.
How to get an ISBN Number?
Now let’s start the process of getting an ISBN.
Register as Author
Visit isbn.gov.in. The first step is to register the author’s account. If you already have an author account, you can skip the registration process and move to the login option directly.
So click on the New Applicant Registration.
The next window will ask for all the author details. Fill in your name and other necessary information in the form, as shown below. You will also need your scan copy of our PAN card and AADHAR card.
Note: Your scan documents should be under 100KB file size. If your scan documents are of bigger sizes, use ReduceImages.com to download a very low-resolution and quality document that is under 100KB.
Once all the details are validated, you will see a message for successful registration.
Head over to your email to get the login details.
Visit isbn.gov.in and use the Applicant Login button to proceed to login. Enter the login credentials that you have in your email to login.
Apply For ISBN
Let’s apply for a new ISBN. Click the “Apply for New Application” button.
Let me share the details for each of the fields in the application form.
Basic Book Details
- Name of Author/Editor – Enter your full name. If you prefer publishing the book under a pen name. Add your pen name here.
- Title of the Book – The exact title of the book. Make sure you enter the exact title of the book. It should be unique and never published before.
- Have You Applied For ISBN Before? Choose No unless you have applied for it earlier. If you have applied for an ISBN, you may need to upload the required document.
- Place of Publication – Your city name
- Year of Publication – Current year.
- Edition – First, unless you are writing a different edition.
- Price – Book price you wish to sell at.
- Pages of the book – The number of pages in the book.
- Language of Book – What is the language of the book. It is important to note that if you have a book in multiple languages, one should apply for a different one.
- Short Description of Book – A sentence about what your book is about. I have only shared as “The book is about investing in the stock market,” which was enough.
- Paperback/ hardback / E-book – What is the format of the book. Again for each format, you have to apply for a new ISBN. So choose the correct option for which you want an ISBN.
- Published By – Self Published unless you are a publisher.
- Cover Page of the Titles or Books – Upload your book’s first page or the cover page. Remember, it only accepts PDF and JPG files that are under 100KB. If you have a large file, get a low-resolution file.
- Title Verso – Upload the content of the title Verso Page. It is a page just after the cover page that contains details about the book and the author. If you are not sure, here is my article with a template to create a title verso page. Remember, it only accepts PDF and JPG files that are under 100KB.
- ISBN Request letter – It is optional, and one can leave it blank.
Read and accept all terms and conditions and click Save so once you are done applying. You will get an email as below.
If there is any correction, you will get an email asking for clarification. For me, it was mainly clarifications for the Title Verso Page. Once all the details are fine, you will be allotted an ISBN, as shown below.
The application process is straightforward, easy, and free, and one can get an ISBN in less than a week.