When I wrote Your First iPad Book: What The Dormouse Said, I wanted to have some certainty that this book would likely show up in the iBookstore. If not immediately, then at least eventually.
This meant I needed to confirm that it was already available in ePub format.
And it had a listing for it. This was promising.
But I needed at least one more source to confirm it was actually in ePub. Because even though a book is in that “industry standard” format doesn’t mean it will be on sale at every bookstore offering ePub.
Now I want to show the metadata horror story associated with this.
Here is the Sony ISBN:
And here is the eBooks.com ISBN:
This is the same book. Both are ePub. Yet one book, same format, two different ISBNs!
And what makes it worse, is when I tried to look up each ISBN:
I wound up with this:
So, the ISBN isn’t even showing up as being associated with any book!
I also asked people on Twitter to search for those ISBNs, using professional tools they have. The same blank results!
And here is where this ties in with the iPad. My earlier post, A Peek At iBooks Metadata, had an ISBN in it too:
And what was the result of searching for that ISBN? This:
So, hello, Bowker. What’s with letting one ebook in the same format have two ISBNs? Isn’t there any method to prevent this confusion? And what’s up with ISBNs not showing up in searches at all? How are your ISBNs supposed to help publishers, writers, sellers, and readers if they can’t be called up and can’t be trusted?