ISBN but book not on Distro

Sadly, I have decided that distribution is no longer viable for me. It's not Lulu's fault, as I know the retail pricing structure is out of Lulu's remit, but, there's no point trying to sell a book which has to be priced so high it is actually priced out of the market. However, can anyone tell me, what clout if any, does an ISBN from Lulu have, if applied to a book which is not submitted for distribution? Does the ISBN and of course the book in question, get listed anywhere which the rest of the industry recognises, and which would allow the book to still be physically stocked in a book store? 


  • If you select Sell On Lulu Only you will not be offered an ISBN as the book will not be distributed and no one will be and to order it other than from Lulu. If you select Sell Everywhere and then don't follow through by buying a proof copy and approving your book that would be a waste of an ISBN and would have the same result: the book would only be available on Lulu and would not be on any database.

  • John HainesJohn Haines Creator
    edited December 2017
    I thought it would be something like that. I am wondering though; would it matter to a bookshop when trying to arrange a sale or return set up? The book would still have an ISBN, maybe that simple fact would suffice?
  • I'm not 100% certain, but I think an ISBN is all you would need for a bookstore to list the book. If you didn't place the book into Lulu's distribution it wouldn't be listed in any catalogs, but that wouldn't prevent you from selling it directly to a bookseller.
  • Thanks, Paul, that's given me the encouragement to try this. I shall let you know how I get on.
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