has reached an agreement with Google to provision and facilitate the assignment of ISBN numbers to Google Editions, Google’s digital book offering launching later in 2010.The agreement sets an important publishing industry precedent, helping to ensure a standards-driven framework for the identification of digital and print-on-demand book products made available and sold through Google Books. Bowker operates the U.S. ISBN Agency.
Under the terms of the agreement, Google will assign ISBN numbers to Google Editions in cases when book publishers have not assigned their own unique ISBNs to works they intend to make available for sale. Both Google and Bowker will encourage publishers to retain primary responsibility for assigning their own ISBNs to their respective Google Editions and including these records as part of the catalogue data they distribute to their trading partners.
“Google Editions are among a growing number of game-changing distribution and reading models available to publishers and book consumers,” says Andy Weissberg, Vice President of Identifier Services at Bowker and a member of the Board of Directors of the International ISBN Agency. “We applaud Google’s decision to leverage the ISBN Standard for identifying Google Editions, as it will help distinguish these offerings from their print and digital format counterparts in catalogues and systems throughout the supply chain.”
One of the core principles of the ISBN Standard is that it identifies a unique and separately available edition of a book. This is as important for eBooks as it is for different formats of printed books, especially where trading models involve multiple partners. For more than four decades, ISBN adoption across the supply chain has facilitated pinpointed discovery and acquisitions, e-commerce, distribution and aggregation of product information, and sales data reporting practices.