How important is an ISBN/copyright to your EPUB book or your print book? Have you ever had a book stolen that you poured your heart and soul into? If you have, you’ve learned, perhaps a little too late, that it is important to get a copyright for your book and use an ISBN when publishing and promoting your work.
It is possible to go after someone who has stolen your work by filing an application for copyright after you discover the theft. An attorney who will try to recoup lost income on your behalf will have you do this. However, doing it right from the start of publishing your book is a better path to take, and help you produce a timeline for your work, should someone decide that your work is SO wonderful they need to steal it.
To file for a copyright license and ISBN, you may either go through a self-publishing company to file for one, or simply go to www.copyright.gov. It costs about $35 USD to file, and it is well worth the effort.
To get an ISBN, many self-publishing companies, as well as digital publishers, often will provide free EPUB ISBN numbers to their authors. Alternatively, just put “apply for ISBN number” or a similar search into your favorite search engine. There are several companies that will provide you with one, though the charge varies (at the time of this writing it is around $100 USD).
In this day and age of digital publishing, protecting your work is more important than ever. Digital publishers are in a rush to provide lots of content, mostly free, to their readers. There are plenty of scammers out there, and indie publishers/self publishers are often easy targets.