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Policies & Practices > Ebooks & Comics without ISBN/ASIN

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message 1: by Elias (new)

Elias Rosner (iasmael) | 20 comments I've been wondering this for a while and I'm sure this has been answered elsewhere but what is the current policy on ebooks that do not contain an ISBN or ASIN? While I'm asking specifically about comics, since that is mostly what I deal with, this could probably be applied to other ebooks as well. (Assume when I say comic I mean collected edition or graphic novels, not single-issues)

So, for example, if someone were to purchase a humble bundle or a DRM-free edition of a comic, would they just use the kindle version here, even though they don't have that one? Should we have an ISBN/ASIN-less ebook version of these to cover those editions that don't fit into any of the other versions?

What about ComiXology editions? They don't contain ISBN/ASIN numbers and, even though kindle editions show up in your ComiXology library, the opposite isn't true. Additionally, I've noticed ebook comics that have ISBNs but when I look into it, they are nook editions.

And, finally, if a generic ISBN/ASIN-less ebook edition is allowed, what should we put so that people don't automatically assume that it is a junk duplicate and replace it with a foreign edition/combine with the kindle edition?

Thanks! Hopefully this wasn't a stupid question.


message 2: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 26088 comments For any ebook without an isbn, and there are many, in lots of genres, I always add a Librarian Note on the edit page that states that this book was issued/published without an isbn. Generally this works.


message 3: by Elias (new)

Elias Rosner (iasmael) | 20 comments Elias wrote: "I've been wondering this for a while and I'm sure this has been answered elsewhere but what is the current policy on ebooks that do not contain an ISBN or ASIN? While I'm asking specifically about ..."

Bringing this back because there's been a clarity in what an ebook is but I can't find any ruling on whether or not these ebooks would just fall under a kindle edition (ie. don't add a blank eBook to cover those who get or read DRM-free editions, if they even exist anymore) or what. Help would be appreciated!


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 6912 comments Elias wrote: "because there's been a clarity in what an ebook is"

Where have you seen this?


message 5: by Emily (last edited Sep 29, 2019 12:57PM) (new)

Emily | 15018 comments If it was never available through Amazon, then there is no Kindle edition. Just because someone reads a book on a Kindle does not mean it is a Kindle edition.
If an "ebook" has an ASIN/was acquired through Amazon directly, it is a Kindle edition.

Nook editions are identified in the ISBN13 field with a long number that starts with 294.

Someone else would need to address ComiXology editions.


message 6: by Elias (new)

Elias Rosner (iasmael) | 20 comments So, that's the weird part of these items. There are kindle equivalents which can then be read on comiXology because it is owned by Amazon. However, if you purchase the items through ComiXology they don't transfer over and thus the copies do not contain an ASIN. The same is true of the DRM free copies or ebooks from, say, humble bundle. Some seems to have ISBNs, such as Kodansha's digital books but others don't.

As for the ebook clarification, what you said Emily, is what I meant. The revised library manual had a section that was more clear on what was a nook book, what is an ebook vs a Kindle edition (I know they're both "ebooks" but one is more specific). It didn't, however, say what happens when a copy has no marker, which is far more common with comics collections than book books.


☕ Lachgas ♿  (lachgas) | 7222 comments AFAIK comics are only allowed with an ISBN or as a real kindle edition with ASIN.
(but that might have changed in the last year as I wasn't really active for a while)


message 8: by Elias (new)

Elias Rosner (iasmael) | 20 comments You're right on the single issues, which are periodical in nature, but I'm specifically referring to bound comics, graphic novels, manga, etc. It's a very weird case because comiXology or Humble Bundle's don't assign ASIN or ISBNs but almost every other service has it somewhere related to the item. It may just be me being pedantic and wanting to represent how I read it vs what's easier which is picking the Kindle edition and being done with it.


message 9: by Emily (new)

Emily | 15018 comments ☕ Lachgas ♿ wrote: "AFAIK comics are only allowed with an ISBN or as a real kindle edition with ASIN.
(but that might have changed in the last year as I wasn't really active for a while)"


#7 you are correct.
Since Amazon owns ComiXology, someone may want to comment on that, but the above is still the case.


message 10: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Nov 10, 2019 10:08AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 6912 comments Elias wrote: "You're right on the single issues, which are periodical in nature, but I'm specifically referring to bound comics, graphic novels, manga, etc. "

What kind of binding? I know that sounds like a technical question, but some magazines, for instance, do not need an ASIN/ISBN to be counted as books. Stapled binding won't work, but what is called "perfect bound" GR will classify as books.


message 11: by Elias (new)

Elias Rosner (iasmael) | 20 comments Usually the versions of objects that would be released onto bookstore shelves vs a prestige format book with a solid binding


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 6912 comments Elias wrote: "Usually the versions of objects that would be released onto bookstore shelves vs a prestige format book with a solid binding"

Then those would be called books, as they are bound like a paperback. Perfect bound can be entered as format (you'll have to hand enter that).


message 13: by Elias (new)

Elias Rosner (iasmael) | 20 comments So they would be ebooks despite not having any isbn/ASIN since it's the digital version of the book? Or should I just default to ComiXology copies being considered kindle editions?


message 14: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Nov 10, 2019 11:02AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 6912 comments Elias wrote: "So they would be ebooks despite not having any isbn/ASIN since it's the digital version of the book? Or should I just default to ComiXology copies being considered kindle editions?"

Yes, but maybe Rivka should chime in about the validity those being books (if they don't have physical editions). Kindle editions have an ASIN.


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