It looks like the ISBNs I received yesterday aren’t going to stretch as far as I was hoping they were going to. Luckily bureaucracy has leaped in to save me from enjoying the bundle I’d been allocated.
At its most basic level, it would make sense to think that if you had x number of ISBN, then you could use them for x titles. But, that would be wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
Apparently, if you want to release a title on the iBookstore, Amazon, Google eBooks, or another bookstore, then you have to have a separate ISBN for each of the different formats the data will be published in. Thus, an ISBN for each of the .iba, .epub, .mobi, and .pdf versions.
Now, if some of the more advanced features of the different formats are modified - for example media is modified or added to the .iba version, then it needs a new ISBN.
For a solo author, this is beginning to look rather expensive, especially if I want to retain control over the ISBNs issued to my titles. I was wondering why the ISBN agency had options to buy them by the hundred and by the thousand - what author could possibly need that many...
Even better, the National Library wants copies of the finished work. Only, the Copyright Act detailing this requirement for printed works doesn’t cover ebooks, and there isn’t yet a cohesive approach to ebooks. A consultation paper to extend the Copyright Act to cover ebooks was only issued in March 2012, so it’s going to take some time.
The National Library will take ebook copies, but which one? One of each of the ISBN specific versions, or just one representative copy?