Skip navigation
This discussion is archived

This Question is Possibly Answered

1 "correct" answer available (10 pts) 2 "helpful" answers available (5 pts)
631 Views 2 Replies Last post: Jan 23, 2018 8:10 AM by walton RSS
Level 0 1 posts since
Nov 24, 2015
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 22, 2018 6:26 PM

Can you delete an ISBN?

I was talking to a writer today about the differences between independent and traditional publishing. I have a manuscript on Createspace that I've been proofing for a while now, with a Createspace ISBN already generated. I haven't published it yet, but it's all but ready to be. At the same time, I also want to be able to pitch it to traditional publishers in the near-future if I ever build up enough clout.


What the writer told me is that once the Createspace ISBN is created, it's already logged into the Library of Congress and I wouldn't be able to sell it to mainstream publishers.


Does anyone know if this is true? What if I delete my Createspace project - will that also delete the ISBN or is it linked to my manuscript in perpetuity?

Level 5 12,995 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
1. Jan 22, 2018 8:48 PM in response to: VictorKong
Re: Can you delete an ISBN?

Much of that writer's advice is inaccurate.


You can pitch your book to a traditional publisher regardless of whether you use a CreateSpace-assigned ISBN or your own (acquired from R.R. Bowker if you're in the USA).


If you use a CreateSpace-assigned ISBN, the main limitation is that you cannot have the book printed by another printer (such as IngramSpark) using that same ISBN. A new ISBN (an ISBN belonging to the publisher) would be required. And again, that publisher could be you or another book publisher.


It is the ISBN agency for the nation in which the book is published (R.R. Bowker in the USA) that maintains the database of ISBN assignments and book metadata. The Library of Congress isn't involved in this at all. If you deleted the project from your CreateSpace account prior to uploading any files, I believe the ISBN would be "recycled" (assigned to someone else's new title/project). If you uploaded files, then yes, the ISBN would be assigned to the book forever (even if you never published/released the book) -- but the only limitation associated with that is the one noted previously.

Level 5 19,168 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
2. Jan 23, 2018 8:10 AM in response to: VictorKong
Re: Can you delete an ISBN?

The sad fact is . . . do not publish your book and try to sell it to a major/traditional publisher.  I've only heard of two books that were self published and were republished by a major publisher.  Two.  Perhaps there are more, but out  of the 250,000 new titles a years published int he US (yes, most 2/3 -4/5 are self published), a small handful tends to prove the rule.


Amanda Hocking, who started selfpublishing with CS, She got picked up by St. Martin's. To my knowlege, St. Martin's did not republish any of her CS printed books.


Given the spam here, come on over to  selfpublishingforum.  It's free.  Many of us who answer questions here are active there.




Bleeds,  free, 91 page guide to bleeds, margins, covers, and annotated CreateSpace guidelines. Prepress Glossary: free, 79 page, fully illustrated prepress glossary with annotations for  CreateSpace users Type & Typography: free, 112 page illustrated guide to designing books, typography, with glossary, and type specimen pages  Free: list of free PDF downloads; selfpublishingforum: spam free forum. Contact  for graphics, design, and typesetting help.




More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...