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Susan_K_Stewart
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ISBN Help

I assigned a new ISBN to my e-book specifically for NOOK. (I understood from instructions that my original e-book ISBN wouldn't work.) Now, I can't enter all 13 digits (yes, I removed the hyphens). Any suggestions??

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Mrs-Smith
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Re: ISBN Help

Curious, but why wouldn't your original ISBN work? -if you don't mind my asking-

 

 

 

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TSCerys
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Re: ISBN Help

For every different version of a book, you need another ISBN, so it makes sense.  As an example, you can't use the Smashwords free ISBN for anything but Smashwords and the places it distributes to because they classify that as your "Smashwords Edition"(and force you to put that in the eBook).

 

If you have a "Kindle Edition" with Kindle specific stuff, then you'd need a separate ISBN for that, too.  The same with Nook, Kobo, Apple, etc.

 

Saying that, you don't even need an ISBN to publish anywhere anymore(though Smashwords still forces you to use one, for whatever reason), so it's not too big a deal.  You should have a 13 digit and a 10 digit, though, which I assume is the issue here.  There's only enough room for the 10 digit one?  The 13 and 10 are linked, so if you know what the 10 is and you put that one in, it should work fine, too.  

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SF50
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Re: ISBN Help

Hey TSCerys,

 

Ahh my favorite topic .. ISBNs.

 

Just to clarify one point for any future readers - You do not need a different ISBN for each retailer you put your ebook on, you are supposed to use a different ISBN for each different format of your book. So technically you need 1 ISBN for the Kindle (MOBI) form of your book and 1 ISBN for the EPUB version of your book, which would cover B&N, Apple, and Kobo.

 

If you bought the ISBN for the EPUB version on your own you could use this ISBN on Smashwords as well since the only format Smashwords sends out to retailers the look at the ISBN is the EPUB version.

 

The ISBN Smashwords gives out for free though obviously cannot be used elsewhere because of Smashwords policies, even though it technically is for the EPUB version. Sort of annoying to have two different ISBNs for the EPUB version though so if anyone intends on buying an ISBN for each version of their book I recommend they assign the EPUB one to their book on Smashwords as opposed to using 3 different ones (one for MOBI, one for EPUB, and one for Smashwords).

 

SF

eB Format - eBook formatting and conversions

 

 

 


TSCerys wrote:

For every different version of a book, you need another ISBN, so it makes sense.  As an example, you can't use the Smashwords free ISBN for anything but Smashwords and the places it distributes to because they classify that as your "Smashwords Edition"(and force you to put that in the eBook).

 

If you have a "Kindle Edition" with Kindle specific stuff, then you'd need a separate ISBN for that, too.  The same with Nook, Kobo, Apple, etc.

 

Saying that, you don't even need an ISBN to publish anywhere anymore(though Smashwords still forces you to use one, for whatever reason), so it's not too big a deal.  You should have a 13 digit and a 10 digit, though, which I assume is the issue here.  There's only enough room for the 10 digit one?  The 13 and 10 are linked, so if you know what the 10 is and you put that one in, it should work fine, too.  




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TSCerys
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Re: ISBN Help

I think that's true if the books are all exactly the same, yes, but not if you include site specific backmatter?  Then, essentially, you're changing the book.  I could be wrong, but I don't think your way makes sense in this situation(or in another situation, but I'll add that later).

 

I always include site specific material in my books.  My backmatter includes a linked list of all my other books and goes to the specific site where you got the book(Kindle version goes to Amazon, Nook version to BN.com, Smashwords one to there, Kobo to Kobo, Apple to iTunes, etc.).  While the content is the same, these aren't the same books.  Some of them I don't even include an entire list of my other writing for specific reasons that I won't get into.  Some have copyright information set up in different ways, too(mainly Smashwords is the odd man out there, and the rest all look the same, because of Smashwords limited capabilities to handle some stuff).

 

A book might contain the same story, but it's definitely a different book in comparison to its alternate version that's up on other sites.

 

And, if your case was true, then you'd technically need 7 ISBNs to cover all your bases for your Smashwords version since they allow you to download up to 7 different formats(possibly 8 if you consider the online/HTML version as a separate version).

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SF50
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Re: ISBN Help

TSCerys,

 

The ISBN applies to the format for a particular title, it's not relevant that you included slightly different site specific links in the back of the book or a slightly different copyright page. The intent of the ISBN is to identify that ISBN: 1234567890123 belongs to "Joe and Sue's Travels" EPUB version. So if you want to search Google (or where ever) for the EPUB version you can just put in the EPUB ISBN, 1234567890123, and not 16 varations of the EPUB ISBN. Bowker says a different ISBN would be needed for a new edition of book and summarizes a new edition as one having enough different content that a reader might complain that it is not the book they thought they were getting. They don't directly address what you're saying here however based on that I think it's pretty safe to say that if you're not changing the 'meat' of the book, the content that matters, it's not a new edition.

 

No, it wouldn't need 7 (or 8) different ISBNs on Smashwords. While the ISBN is listed on a book's Smashwords retail page, it isn't actually used for anything on Smashwords website. Only when the book (in EPUB format) is sent to Apple and a couple of the other retailers is the ISBN actually verified or used in any meaningful way. Every other format that Smashwords creates is only used on Smashwords own website.

 

Thanks,

 

SF

 


TSCerys wrote:

I think that's true if the books are all exactly the same, yes, but not if you include site specific backmatter?  Then, essentially, you're changing the book.  I could be wrong, but I don't think your way makes sense in this situation(or in another situation, but I'll add that later).

 

I always include site specific material in my books.  My backmatter includes a linked list of all my other books and goes to the specific site where you got the book(Kindle version goes to Amazon, Nook version to BN.com, Smashwords one to there, Kobo to Kobo, Apple to iTunes, etc.).  While the content is the same, these aren't the same books.  Some of them I don't even include an entire list of my other writing for specific reasons that I won't get into.  Some have copyright information set up in different ways, too(mainly Smashwords is the odd man out there, and the rest all look the same, because of Smashwords limited capabilities to handle some stuff).

 

A book might contain the same story, but it's definitely a different book in comparison to its alternate version that's up on other sites.

 

And, if your case was true, then you'd technically need 7 ISBNs to cover all your bases for your Smashwords version since they allow you to download up to 7 different formats(possibly 8 if you consider the online/HTML version as a separate version).




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TSCerys
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Re: ISBN Help

The ISBNs Smashwords offers show up directly on the product page at Smashwords for each individual book(where you can then download the book in multiple different formats).

 

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but the things you're stating are either wrong or don't make sense.

 

Also, on the Bowker website, it specifically states that if a "second" edition has the same title as the "first" then the new edition is considered a different product and it gets its own ISBN.  If you have a "Nook" edition of your book with Nook specific material, and then create a second edition that is the "Kindle" edition of your book, then another edition that is the "Apple" edition, they should, by that reasoning, all have a different ISBN.

 

There's actually no specific mention of the various eBook formats that you're mentioning from what I can tell, either.

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SF50
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Re: ISBN Help

TSCerys,

 

I don't think you're being argumentative, no worries. I'm pretty sure the majority of my information isn't wrong though one point of it I'm up in the air about and awaiting a response from Bowker on, but you also may be missing some of the details I'm trying to get across.

 

Regarding Smashwords:  I said, "While the ISBN is listed on a book's Smashwords retail page, it isn't actually used for anything on Smashwords website."  .. So I said it is listed but it's not used by Smashwords to pull any information from Bowker and it's not used to identify any individual format of the book. It is not functional other than being listed on the book's product page. To assign 7 differnet ISBNs would serve no purpose as Smashwords would be the one reporting them to Bowker and Smashwords wouldn't be pulling the information it sent to Bowker for any purpose and no other retailer would ever see or use those other 7 (exempting the EPUB one) ISBNs. They would be functionally useless.

 

You need to read a little deeper on the Bowker website than you did. The different edition is referring to notable changes in the work.

 

From the same website:

**

What's the difference between a reprint and a new edition?

 

A reprint means more copies are being printed with no substantial changes. Perhaps a few typos are being fixed. A new edition means that there has been substantial change: content has been altered in a way that might make a customer complain that this was not the product that was expected. Or, text has been changed to add a new feature, such as a preface or appendix or additional content. Or, content has been revised. Or, the book has been redesigned.

**

 

This is the part I'm up in the air about and waiting to hear back from Bowker on, purely because I'm curious how they view it, but I don't consider a slightly different "Also by" page or a slightly different copyright page that is tuned to a specific retailer as being a significant change to warrant calling it a different edition and will never recommend anyone get anything other than 1 ISBN per format (EPUB, MOBI). Furthermore if someone has an ISBN they bought for their EPUB version I encourage them to use that one on Smashwords in place of the free one because as stated above, the only version any retailers Smashwords sends to is the EPUB version.

 

I'll let you know what Bowker says, if they respond.

 

SF

 


TSCerys wrote:

The ISBNs Smashwords offers show up directly on the product page at Smashwords for each individual book(where you can then download the book in multiple different formats).

 

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but the things you're stating are either wrong or don't make sense.

 

Also, on the Bowker website, it specifically states that if a "second" edition has the same title as the "first" then the new edition is considered a different product and it gets its own ISBN.  If you have a "Nook" edition of your book with Nook specific material, and then create a second edition that is the "Kindle" edition of your book, then another edition that is the "Apple" edition, they should, by that reasoning, all have a different ISBN.

 

There's actually no specific mention of the various eBook formats that you're mentioning from what I can tell, either.




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eB00k
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Re: ISBN Help

Hi SF50,

 

Respectfully, I believe your understanding is only half correct.

 

It is true that a new ISBN is required for each format that a work is published in (ebook, hard cover, paperback, audio book, etc). But it doesn't end there. ISBN's are used to control the flow of money through distribution channels and a unique ISBN may be required for each channel even if the content and format of the work has not changed. For example, a print book published by B&N will need a different ISBN than an identical print book published by Amazon (CreateSpace).

 

The easiest way to think about this is: A unique ISBN is required for each format AND each payment path through the system. Because of this, the same ePub file may require a unique ISBN if it is sold through different distribution channels when each one must receive payment.

 

And for the sake of others reading this thread: This is one reason why each e-reader platform would need a unique ISBN. Therefore you could not use the same ISBN for a Kindle ebook as you would for the same ebook for the Nook even if they were both generated from the same ePub source and were formatted identically.

 

Also newcomers should be aware that not all distributors require an ISBN. When we say different ISBN's would be "required" we mean if you decide to provide one. For some distributors like Amazon and B&N, the use of an ISBN is optional for an ebook. You don't need to provide one but if you choose to, they must be unique.

 

Kind regards, David

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SF50
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Re: ISBN Help

[ Edited ]

Respectfully, I believe your understanding of an ISBN is not correct. I can debate this all day but ISBNs plain and simple are identifiers. How any one retailer manages their payment database is dependent on how they designed it. Whether they tied it to ISBNs or some other unique identifier is entirely up to them.

 

The easiest way to think about this is: A unique ISBN is required for each format (hard cover, paperback, EPUB, PDF). It stops there. The rest of your statement is irrelevant and incorrect. No author needs to worry about assigning a new ISBN in relation to "payment path" through any place's system. 

 

Read my next post for even more clarity.

 

SF

 

 

 

 


eB00k wrote:

Hi SF50,

 

Respectfully, I believe your understanding is only half correct.

 

It is true that a new ISBN is required for each format that a work is published in (ebook, hard cover, paperback, audio book, etc). But it doesn't end there. ISBN's are used to control the flow of money through distribution channels and a unique ISBN may be required for each channel even if the content and format of the work has not changed. For example, a print book published by B&N will need a different ISBN than an identical print book published by Amazon (CreateSpace).

 

The easiest way to think about this is: A unique ISBN is required for each format AND each payment path through the system. Because of this, the same ePub file may require a unique ISBN if it is sold through different distribution channels when each one must receive payment.

 

And for the sake of others reading this thread: This is one reason why each e-reader platform would need a unique ISBN. Therefore you could not use the same ISBN for a Kindle ebook as you would for the same ebook for the Nook even if they were both generated from the same ePub source and were formatted identically.

 

Also newcomers should be aware that not all distributors require an ISBN. When we say different ISBN's would be "required" we mean if you decide to provide one. For some distributors like Amazon and B&N, the use of an ISBN is optional for an ebook. You don't need to provide one but if you choose to, they must be unique.

 

Kind regards, David




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SF50
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Re: ISBN Help

TSCerys:

 

The response from Bowker is two parts, I'm going to copy and paste the entire thing because I don't want to pick and choose portions, also because it might provide a bit of clarity for other people.

 

It is long, apologies in advance.

 

 

(The question I sent to them was along the lines of "do I need a different ISBN for the same format(EPUB) just because of a different "Also by" type page, with different links at the end per each retailer).

 

The first response from Bowker:

 

The ISBN Manual is a great reference tool which I often share with customers. This same information can be found in that document.

 

·  Guidelines for the assignment of ISBNs to e-books

1.      If I publish in two or more different file formats (e.g. epub, PDF) should I assign separate ISBNs?

 

Yes.  Each different format of an electronic publication that is published and made separately available should be given a separate ISBN.

 

2.      Should different versions of the e-book that use the same file format (e.g. epub) have different ISBNs?

 

If the different versions use the same DRM software (e.g. Adobe ACS4) with substantially the same settings and are interoperable on different devices or software, then a single ISBN should be used. If, however, the same DRM software is used on two versions but with significantly different settings (e.g. one allows printing but the other does not) then each version should have its own separate ISBNs.

If proprietary DRM is used that ties a version to a specific platform, device or software then, if ISBNs are assigned (see 6 below), separate ISBNs should be used for each such version.

 

3.      Assuming the same content, what are the features that distinguish different e-book products and determine whether separate ISBNs are required?

 

The key features are whether any specific device or software is required to read the e-book and what user functionality is provided (e.g. copy, print, lend etc.).  As mentioned above, this is normally defined by a combination of file format and Digital Rights Management software.

 

4.  (Removed to shorten post, related to "ONIX" and DRM. Priv Msg me if curious)

 

5.      If I provide a single master file to a conversion service and am not controlling the different combi...

 

No, unless it is also being made available to the public in exactly the same form as your master file (i.e. unchanged file format and without DRM applied).  You should assign separate ISBNs to each version generated by the conversion service (see also question 6 below).  If your legacy computer system requires an ISBN to identify a master file, then this should be kept as a purely internal identifier to avoid the possibility of several different versions carrying the same ISBN.

 

6.      If my e-books are being supplied by a retailer that is the sole provider of e-books in a proprietary format that can only be bought its own website (e.g. Amazon Kindle) and that retailer does not require ISBNs, should I assign ISBNs to those versions?

 

It is not necessary to do so, unless it is useful for your own purposes or you want  that version to be listed in third-party databases of available e-books .  However, since these platforms are generally not interoperable, if you do assign ISBNs, make sure that they are unique to each version to avoid problems if those versions should later become available through third parties. 

 

7.      I provide an e-book conversion service to publishers but they are not providing separate ISBNs for e...

 

If a publisher will not provide ISBNs to intermediaries for this purpose then, as a last resort, intermediaries may assign their own ISBNs.  ISBN agencies will provide ISBN prefixes to intermediaries for this purpose.  In this case ISBNs and related metadata should be provided back to the publisher and to the national ISBN agency and other bibliographic agencies.

Note that the assignment of an ISBN has no implications for rights ownership.

 

8.      E-book devices offer different features such as type size, text to speech, bookmarking, colour etc. ...

 

Not at all.  If the content, file format, DRM and settings are unchanged, then any variation that depends on the device or software used to read the e-book does not impact on the ISBN.

Note that provision of mono or colour images in separate e-publications intended respectively for mono or colour devices constitutes a change of content – and therefore of ISBN. However if colour images only are provided, but a particular device has only a mono display, that is simply a device limitation and does not imply a second ISBN.

 

9.      Should an enhanced e-book that includes audio, video or other additional content have a different ISBN from the standard e-book?

 

Yes.  Since there is extra content included in the enhanced e-book it is clearly a different product and should therefore have a separate ISBN.

 

10. Can e-book “apps” (e.g. applications for iPhone, Android etc.) have ISBNs?

 

Yes, provided that there is significant textual content.  An e-book app is simply a combination of textual and other content and software.  If the software element is different (e.g. targeted on different operating systems), then each version should have a separate ISBN.  However, please see question 6 above.  If the app is only being made available through a single source, then ISBNs may not be necessary.

 

11. I am publishing two versions of an e-book, one without DRM and one with 'social' DRM that does not e...

 

No. If the social DRM does not enforce any restrictions or intrude significantly on the users’ experience, it is transparent to them and need not be given a separate ISBN.

 

12. (Removed to shorten post, relates to how to link different formats, Msg me if curious)

 

13. How do I identify individual chapters or other parts of a book that I plan to make available separat...

 

If you are making chapters or other parts of a book separately available through the normal supply chain and want to have them listed in trade databases then you should regard them as individual publications and assign ISBNs to them.  If they will only be available through a single source, such as the publisher’s website, then proprietary internal identifiers will be adequate.

****END EMAIL***

 

So I responded, "I read through it but I can't find any part that directly addresses it. The real content of the book is the same from one (EPUB) version to the next and the only real aspect that is changing is essentially an ad for other books that resides at the end. By my reading of this and other stuff on the myidentifiers.com website my belief would be that since the content that is slightly different relates to aspects that have virtually nothing to do with the 'meat' and intent of the book that one ISBN for all three of those EPUBs would be fine. Would this be an accurate reading?"

 

The response, "Yes, that’s correct."

***

 

Granted I could be lying about the last part but that would serve no purpose.

 

 

Have a nice day,

SF

 

 

 

 


TSCerys wrote:

The ISBNs Smashwords offers show up directly on the product page at Smashwords for each individual book(where you can then download the book in multiple different formats).

 

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but the things you're stating are either wrong or don't make sense.

 

Also, on the Bowker website, it specifically states that if a "second" edition has the same title as the "first" then the new edition is considered a different product and it gets its own ISBN.  If you have a "Nook" edition of your book with Nook specific material, and then create a second edition that is the "Kindle" edition of your book, then another edition that is the "Apple" edition, they should, by that reasoning, all have a different ISBN.

 

There's actually no specific mention of the various eBook formats that you're mentioning from what I can tell, either.




 

 

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eB00k
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Re: ISBN Help

Hi SF50,

 

Thanks for the comments. I probably didn't phrase it well. The phrase that might help is "supply chain". When the same book in the same format is a part of two different supply chains and ISBNs are used, each needs a different ISBN. The supply chains use the ISBN to route payment. This may not have been a part of the original purpose for ISBNs but I believe it is fact and I don't think this was addressed in your quotation which was focused on the narrower issue of ebooks—not the larger issue of supply chain.

 

If I have time later on to make some inquiries at Bowker, I will. In the meantime, if you have occassion to contact them again, please ask them "If the same book in the same format is a part of two different supply chains and ISBNs are used, should a unique ISBN be used for each supply chain?"

 

Kind regards, David

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SF50
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Re: ISBN Help

ebook:

 

That's ok, I'll leave it to you to ask Bowker.

 

All the relevant information on what constitutes another format (and therefore another ISBN) is listed above. I'm not sure what you're referring to as far as the same format as part of two different supply chains, perhaps an example will help. Either way it sounds like you're trying to work out internals of retailers payment methods which have nothing to do with ISBNs.

 

SF

 


eB00k wrote:

Hi SF50,

 

Thanks for the comments. I probably didn't phrase it well. The phrase that might help is "supply chain". When the same book in the same format is a part of two different supply chains and ISBNs are used, each needs a different ISBN. The supply chains use the ISBN to route payment. This may not have been a part of the original purpose for ISBNs but I believe it is fact and I don't think this was addressed in your quotation which was focused on the narrower issue of ebooks—not the larger issue of supply chain.

 

If I have time later on to make some inquiries at Bowker, I will. In the meantime, if you have occassion to contact them again, please ask them "If the same book in the same format is a part of two different supply chains and ISBNs are used, should a unique ISBN be used for each supply chain?"

 

Kind regards, David




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TSCerys
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Re: ISBN Help

Thanks for the info, but a couple things stuck out to me.  Your general question is correct, that if the "meat" of the book is all the same, then you wouldn't need to provide further ISBNs beyond one, but at different retailers your book isn't the same still.

 

According to that FAQ you need to provide separate ISBNs if the retailer adds anything to your book that makes it "site" specific that is not just random cosmetic customization on their specific eReader(meaning it's something that they could do with any book on their eReader, regardless of where they got it).

 

This means that you'd need a separate ISBN for your books through B&N and Apple at the very least.

 

You can't buy/read iTunes iBookstore books on any computer.  You can only read them on a very specific subset of computers(iPads, iPhones, etc.  I don't even believe you can read them on a regular Mac, but I'm not 100% sure).  Since I can't read an Apple-sold book on my Nook, you'd need a separate ISBN for that, since Apple is adding proprietary information/DRM-style restrictions.

 

The same for the Nook.  If you sell a book at BN.com then I'm fairly positive it automatically comes with the LendMe feature?  A Nook book has this added in, where as if you put an epub book from Smashwords onto your Nook, you would not be able to "lend" that book as far as I'm aware.  This makes your Nook version proprietary with extra non-cosmetic features, and according to that FAQ would require another ISBN.

 

Amazon does a similar thing with their stuff, but they let you choose if you want to offer it up for lending if the book fits into their 35% pricing model.  If you still let them add a lending feature into it, then you'd need another ISBN, though you'd likely need one anyways since the whole mobi thing.

 

Kobo has the option of adding DRM(though I don't actually DRM my stuff, for my own reasons), so if you choose that then you'd need another ISBN since the DRM would be Kobo-site specific.  Kobo doesn't have lending though, as far as I know.  So technically if you don't add Kobo DRM then you could use the same ISBN for your Kobo and Smashwords versions(if you owned the ISBN), maybe.  

 

The only issue there is that Smashwords distributes to places that add DRM to your book(library outlets, Diesel, and I'm not sure about Sony but they might), so I'm unsure how that'd work.

 

So technically you wouldn't need a separate ISBN for other outlets if they were all created equally, but unfortunately most of them aren't(looks like Kobo's the only one, really, with maybe Smashwords counting), so you're looking at a minimum of 4 ISBNs per book to cover yourself there.

 

To be perfectly honest, I don't actually know why anyone would buy ISBNs for their books anyways.  No one except Smashwords requires one now, and even then they will give you one for free(Apple recently removed their ISBN requirement as of a few months ago and they were the last storefront to require one as far as I know).

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SF50
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Re: ISBN Help

TSCerys:

 

In all honesty I'm over this conversation. If Bowker isn't going to sway your decision that you need 400 ISBNs than I don't think anything is. Plain and simple, each format needs one ISBN, not one for every retailer and I think people need to stop overthinking this so much. There's an obvious reason why one format (EPUB/MOBI etc) is supposed to have a different ISBN than any other - so if you want to look up the EPUB people know exactly which ISBN belongs to it.

 

Thanks,

SF

 

 


TSCerys wrote:

Thanks for the info, but a couple things stuck out to me.  Your general question is correct, that if the "meat" of the book is all the same, then you wouldn't need to provide further ISBNs beyond one, but at different retailers your book isn't the same still.

 

According to that FAQ you need to provide separate ISBNs if the retailer adds anything to your book that makes it "site" specific that is not just random cosmetic customization on their specific eReader(meaning it's something that they could do with any book on their eReader, regardless of where they got it).

 

This means that you'd need a separate ISBN for your books through B&N and Apple at the very least.

 

You can't buy/read iTunes iBookstore books on any computer.  You can only read them on a very specific subset of computers(iPads, iPhones, etc.  I don't even believe you can read them on a regular Mac, but I'm not 100% sure).  Since I can't read an Apple-sold book on my Nook, you'd need a separate ISBN for that, since Apple is adding proprietary information/DRM-style restrictions.

 

The same for the Nook.  If you sell a book at BN.com then I'm fairly positive it automatically comes with the LendMe feature?  A Nook book has this added in, where as if you put an epub book from Smashwords onto your Nook, you would not be able to "lend" that book as far as I'm aware.  This makes your Nook version proprietary with extra non-cosmetic features, and according to that FAQ would require another ISBN.

 

Amazon does a similar thing with their stuff, but they let you choose if you want to offer it up for lending if the book fits into their 35% pricing model.  If you still let them add a lending feature into it, then you'd need another ISBN, though you'd likely need one anyways since the whole mobi thing.

 

Kobo has the option of adding DRM(though I don't actually DRM my stuff, for my own reasons), so if you choose that then you'd need another ISBN since the DRM would be Kobo-site specific.  Kobo doesn't have lending though, as far as I know.  So technically if you don't add Kobo DRM then you could use the same ISBN for your Kobo and Smashwords versions(if you owned the ISBN), maybe.  

 

The only issue there is that Smashwords distributes to places that add DRM to your book(library outlets, Diesel, and I'm not sure about Sony but they might), so I'm unsure how that'd work.

 

So technically you wouldn't need a separate ISBN for other outlets if they were all created equally, but unfortunately most of them aren't(looks like Kobo's the only one, really, with maybe Smashwords counting), so you're looking at a minimum of 4 ISBNs per book to cover yourself there.

 

To be perfectly honest, I don't actually know why anyone would buy ISBNs for their books anyways.  No one except Smashwords requires one now, and even then they will give you one for free(Apple recently removed their ISBN requirement as of a few months ago and they were the last storefront to require one as far as I know).