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can i use an existing isbn number, from paperback version, for hardback version?

i've published a softback version of a book on createspace and would like to print a hardback version on blurb. i've researched info on ISBN numbers and according to (a link from blurb's site)…

"If changing the cover of a book… no, a new ISBN should not be assigned."

but according to blurb's site (…

"ISBNs cannot be reused for other books (not even the same book in a different cover type)."

what gives?

clyde adams

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Hi there Clyde. You're actually misreading the first quote ("If changing the cover of a book… no, a new ISBN should not be assigned.") 

Admittedly, the site isn't very specific in their wording, but in that context "changing the cover" refers to changing the cover *content*, not the cover *type*. 

Per the standards stated in the ISBN User's Manual, published by the International ISBN Agency, each cover type (soft cover, hardcover, etc) requires a separate ISBN:

5.4 Publications in different product forms

Different product forms of a publication (e.g., hardback, paperback, Braille, audiobook, online electronic publication) require separate ISBNs. Where electronic publications are made available in different file formats each separately available format shall be assigned a unique ISBN. (See section 6.3 for further information on dealing with e-book file formats). 

That is why our site correctly states that you cannot reuse an ISBN between different cover types.

Michael Y. 0 votes
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hello micheal. it was my initial assumption that a new numbers was necessary but as you stated, the site i pulled that info from ( is confusing. in answer to their question "If changing the cover of a book, does a new ISBN have to be assigned?" they say you should not use a new number and they make no mention of this referencing just a change of content.

thanks for clearing that up and for sharing the info from the isbn user's manual.

clyde adams 0 votes
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