I saw the question about books published by more than one publisher, but it doesn't entirely answer my particular inquiry, which is this: If I publish a book through CreateSpace and Kindle, can I then also AT THE SAME TIME publish that book with, say, Barnes & Nobles Press/Nook?

Further, I know that you need a different ISBN for POD and ebook--but do I need TWO MORE ISBNs for B&N POD and ebook versions? From what I've read around the web, the answer is no for the POD, but unclear for the eBook. Can anyone clarify? Thanks in advance for replies.

2 Answers 2


If you use your own ISBN, and you deliver the same content to each POD service, you can use the same ISBN for all of them.

If use a paid or discounted ISBN that you obtained through a POD service, check their rules for the agreement you made when you obtained the ISBN. CreateSpace offers several different agreements, each with different restrictions for how you can use it.

If you deliver substantially different editions to each POD service, each edition should get its own ISBN. I've never seen a good definition of "substantially different."

As for ISBNs on ebooks, you may not need them at all. Many distributors and retailers don't require an ISBN on ebooks. Some do.

If you choose to put ISBNs on your ebooks, and you deliver the same ebook content to different distributors and retailers, you can use the same ISBN on all of them.

If you deliver different content, I'm not sure. It's that ambiguous "substantially different" thing again.

Some people like to produce ebooks specialized for each retailer, with retailer-specific links inside (e.g. on their Books by the Author page). The Apple version would have iBooks links. The Kindle version would have Amazon links. And so on.

I don't know whether using different links makes the ebooks different enough to warrant separate ISBNs. That's one reason I don't use retailer-specific links in my ebooks.


You absolutely can publish your book with CreateSpace and NOOK at the same time. Each print version needs its own ISBN.

I wrote to B&N about this exact issue, and this was their response, emphasis mine:

Please note: Each NOOK Press print book needs a new ISBN that has never been used on any other print platform. If your print book is currently available for purchase at BN.com or any other retail platform, you cannot use that same ISBN again on the NOOK Press print platform. You may elect to receive a free ISBN through NOOK Press during your set-up process (resulting in your Publisher Name being designated as “NOOK Press”) or you may want to purchase one on your own, which will enable you to set your own Publisher Name.

regarding ebooks:

1) According to Bowker, the main place to buy ISBNs in the U.S., you do need an ISBN for an e-book. This has changed from a few years ago, when you didn't.

The purpose of the ISBN is to identify one specific version of a book. If you wish to have a hard bound copy, a soft bound copy, an ePUB, a PDF, a MOBI, or even register a new version, you will need a unique ISBN for each version. This allows retailers to help the customer understand exactly which version of a title they are purchasing.

2) Note that ePUB and MOBI are two different e-book formats, and Bowker specifically calls them out individually. Therefore I would say yes, each e-book format (Kindle, NOOK, iBooks) needs its own ISBN the same way hardback vs. paperback needs a separate ISBN.

When you buy your own ISBN from Bowker, you can either buy 1 or a 10-pack (or more, but a self-publishing writer usually only needs 10 at a shot). Therefore, since you already have the 10 numbers, I would go ahead and assign each e-book format its own ISBN.

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