Need an isbn number to preview KDP manuscript but don't want to keep it permanently.

mkramer777 used Ask the Experts™
I am at the point in Amazon KDP where I am wanting to see a preview of my novel.  I do not have an ISBN number yet because I am still only wanting to preview and not publish.  Amazon asks if I want a free ISBN number from them or if I should provide my own.  If I choose to have Amazon provide the ISBN, am I stuck with it or can I back out and later add my own?  The reason for this is I cannot upload a manuscript to preview without a valid ISBN number.
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Fractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018
At this point, think in terms of money.

Amazon owns 90%+ of the entire ebook market, so most people have just stopped getting ISBN numbers + take a free one assigned by Amazon.

If you plan on selling through many physical bookstores (while the few surviving book stores hang on), then you'll require an ISBN number.

If all your sales are through Amazon, just use their internal Amazon number (called an AISN).

You can change/assign any ISBN in the future, as required.


Can I sell physical books on my own if I take an Amazon free ISBN number?  I am planning on selling some at education conventions coming up in the next year.  

I had heard if you take an Amazon ISBN number, and then later use your own, you lose all the Amazon history and have to start from scratch.  If that is the case I will have to buy one.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Can you sell books?

Well... Yes... You hand out a book + take money for the sale. This has nothing to do with any barcode or any other number.

If you're selling at Amazon, you must have an AISN number. Other places may or may not require an ISBN number.

Loosing Amazon history rarely has much meaning, unless you've sold 1,000,000s of books.

If you're selling this many books, than you'll likely have an ISBN number.

Tip: You'll always have higher income splitting up your book content into blog posts + monetizing with ads, compared with minuscule Amazon income.

Consider a book of 100 pages, which sells once for one price.

Compared with a blog of 100 pages, each monetized generating daily income.

If you really start running your math, you'll find there are reasons for publishing books + rarely does this relate to income.

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