Be the listed publisher of your books

When you purchase your ISBN from a self-publishing company, your ISBN is listed in that company’s name. You're a self-published author, and the company who provided and owns your ISBN, will be the publisher of your book. When you purchase your ISBN from Thorpe-Bowker, the ISBN is listed in your name. You're an independent author. You own the ISBN, and your the publisher of your book.

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ISBN (International Standard Book Number) This is the thirteen digit identifier that includes information such as the publisher, author, title, year, edition and format of published books.

The publisher of record The company or author who purchased the ISBN. The owner of the ISBN is the listed publisher on the record. Searches will identify the company as the publisher if you purchase your ISBN through a self publishing company.

Imprint of record Authors who purchase their ISBN from companies are not the original publisher. Authors will become the second publisher and their name will not be listed as the publisher of their book on the record.

WARNING – If you purchase your ISBN through a company, that company is the publisher on record for your book and registrations are their responsibility. That company has complete access and control. They are the only ones who can change or update your books information. The author cannot access their titles information directly, they must go through their ISBN provider.

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To be the publisher of your book, purchase your ISBNs from Thorpe-Bowker using 'my identifers'. Your ISBN is listed in your name. You're an independent author & publisher of your book.


Publishers perform the duties necessary to create a publisher of record. This responsibility to provide a book’s publication information falls on the individual or company who owns the ISBN. The information assigned to the ISBN must be completed before the book’s release date. Assigned to your ISBN is the following information;

  • The ISBN number

  • Form (e-book, paperback)

  • Title

  • Series

  • Contributor

  • Edition

  • Language(s)

  • Imprint

  • Publisher

  • Country of publication

  • Publication date

  • ISBN of parent publication

The above information is visible when purchasing a book online. To be the publisher of your book, purchase your own ISBNs directly from a provider such as Thorpe-Bowker, then update your book's information using the myidentifiers dashboard. This service includes barcodes to match your ISBN. You have complete control to make changes to the ISBN's metadata.


The author controls the production of their book including editing, cover design and interior formatting, but when it comes to self publishing, the author is actually not the publisher. The author will purchase an ISBN that is owned by a publishing company. The author pays that company to register their book in the companies name. The author loses control of their book’s information, and the ability to rectifying problems with the ISBNs metadata. If something goes wrong, the author is reliant on the self-publishing company for all future activities, including updating ISBN information.


An ISBN is your book’s identifier. This assists readers who are searching for your books via sellers websites, libraries and book stores. This helps supply chains with printing and distribution. The ISBN identifier is a convenient way for readers to search for specific authors, titles and editions. You will need to purchase separate ISBN’s for the same title in the ebook, paperback and/or audio formats.


Authors who are publishing their own work should apply for their own ISBN. The publisher’s defined as either the individual, group or company who is in charge of the book’s production and publication process. This is the individual, group or company who is responsible for the financials of the project and whoever takes the risks associated with production and publication. This is usually the author in instances where they choose to take control of creating and publishing their book.

Where can I purchase my own ISBN in Australia? –

Thorpe-Bowker –

Where can I get more information? Thorpe-Bowker –

International ISBN Agency –

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