Do I need an ISBN to publish my book? Which stores require it?

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique numeric commercial book identifier, and is a global standard in the publishing industry. Its original role was to help publishers track sales.

You don't need an ISBN to publish an ebook or an audiobook through PublishDrive, but you need an ISBN for print-on-demand books.

We don't assign any official ISBNs to books, but you can receive PublishDrive’s Unique Identifier (PUI) which is accepted by most retailers. The way to do so is by leaving the ISBN field empty when uploading your book.

Some stores may still require ISBNs which can be obtained from your local ISBN agency or it can be bought from several vendors over the Internet and these are all perfectly safe to use. For those residing in the US, we recommend using Bowker since they are the most well-known in the publishing industry.

If you already have an ISBN assigned to your book, you can carry it on and use it on PublishDrive.

If you have an ISBN for the print version of your book, that can only be used for print distribution. You cannot use the ISBN you received for the print version when distributing your ebook or audiobook: you need to apply for a new ISBN for all new formats, or use the PUI number we assign to books uploaded without ISBNs.

The following stores require ISBN for distributing your ebook:





Baker & Taylor




The following stores require ISBN for distributing your audiobook: