Does my selfpublished book need an ISBN?

Must Use Bigger Elephants

The question of ISBNs in self-publishing comes up a bit. Traditionalists are adamant that an ISBN is ?essential? and that it make you look ?professional?.

I have to admit to being a bit allergic to that latter word: ?professional?. It?s a word that?s making a beeline for my list of hated words, because it?s so often used to put down ?people who disagree with me?.

In the 1990?s in the heydays of my non-fiction bookselling, I dealt with a publishing company in Germany. They had about 40-odd books out and made  a living from this. None of their books had ISBNs. To me, it was a small pain in the arse, because I listed their books on websites that liked to get ISBNs and that put their books in the dungeon of the pre-1960s books that did not have ISBNs. Bookshops need ISBNs to enter books in their system, and…

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