To protect your investment of time and money in your book, purchase your ISBN for Bowker, Inc. at: https://www.myidentifiers.com/isbn/main .
One ISBN will cost you $125 but for $250 you can get 10 ISBNs and for $575 you can get 100 ISBNs. As a small publishing company I purchase 10 at a time and if you have any intention of writing more than one book or ebook, I suggest you do the same.
The free ISBN is no bargain when you consider that by purchasing ISBNs 1,000 at a time POD publishers can get them for $1 each. And, the larger POD publisher who purchase 10,000 or more can get them for even less than a dollar. When a POD publisher gives you an ISBN free, they are purchasing your right to take your book to another printer for under $1.
Most POD publishers are glad to give you an ISBN number free of charge and encourage you to take one. Some also offer discounted ISBN numbers and say you will be listed as the publisher. These ISBNs are no bargain because ISBN numbers are not transferable. They can only be purchased by a publisher and they can’t be transferred to anyone else. So, if you get an ISBN from anyone other than Bowker, Inc., the official USA issuer of ISBN numbers, it will not be in your name. You may be listed as the publisher with the POD publisher/printer but you are not the publisher of record. That distinction goes to the publisher that actually purchased the ISBN from Bowker, Inc.
The next post will cover why you should purchase your ISBNs from Bowker, Inc.