#ISBN Numbers in #Canada


A little note on my blip with retrieving my ISBN numbers as I was getting ready to format my book, Conflicted Hearts.

It was Sunday. Sunday November 10, to be exact. Why do I remember this exactly? Because I was in the final stages of putting everything together for my book to be formatted, and of course that included plugging in the ISBN numbers on the copyright page.

I had already received my block of numbers from Government of Canada months before in preparation for my book. All I had to do was sign in to the government site and pull them out and fill in the required information pertaining to my book for it’s use. But I couldn’t get in! It wouldn’t accept my password and I was freaking out. That meant I couldn’t even call them until Wednesday! Monday was a holiday, Tuesday I had doctor appointments all day. It was frustrating looking at my beloved book numbers but unable to have them. I also needed to speak with the Library of Archives department because the rules were a bit misleading as to how I was supposed to send them a copy of my book after publication.

When I  was finally able to call, I reached a nice lady named Rachel. I explained the difficulty I was having obtaining my numbers and she was a great help with the process. In fact, we chatted a bit about my book and then I proceeded to ask her about my quandary on the LAC issue. She then told me that was a different department and she would connect me.

When I finally was able to call, I received an automated message asking to leave my name and phone number for someone to get back to me. Really?, I thought, as though I was calling some little business with an answering machine, not the government. I waited hours, no call back. I called back again, left another message, still no call back. I called back my ‘new friend’ Rachel and asked why nobody is calling back and she proceeded to inform me that they are minimally staffed and there was only ONE person in each department! I told her I just wanted to know the protocol for what I was legally to do with them to submit my book. I wasn’t sure how many formats they required or which formats. She then said, ‘Let me see what I can do for you, I will email them.’

A few minutes later a lovely lady named Patricia called me. I told her my concerns and she was lovely and guided me through the process and apologized for delays.  Here is what I learned:

Library of Archives and ISBN offices are in Montreal, Quebec.

Gratefully, the site navigation is about to be reconstructed for easier and updated navigation.

If you are formatting in both Mobi and Epub, only a copy of the Epub is required for them to have a copy in the archives. Patricia was kind enough to send me a direct link to forward this after I am published. She was also kind enough to give me her email address if I encountered more problems.

If you are publishing in POD, no printed copy is required to be sent in (that was one of the tricky grey areas on the website). Because POD is printed as ordered it is not necessary to submit a printed copy.

There is also an indication on the website that when submitting in ebook format, only so many megabites can be submitted at a time (grueling). I was informed that this has been changed, although it is not yet stated. I will be finding this little surprise out shortly after I publish and I will be sure to follow up here if I encounter said glitches.

I’d also like to say, I am grateful that for Canadian authors, our ISBN numbers are FREE!

Here is the email I received after our conversation, with the link attached to submit your ebook for archiving, after publication. I hope this helps some of my fellow Canadian authors.

Hello Deborah:

Thank you for contacting us today.

Here is the link to the site where you can upload your e-book.  As part of the process, you will register to receive a login and password, then you can upload you book.



Even though your file may be slightly larger than 200 MB try it anyway.  I would also recommend that you “zip” the file to compress it.

Well, I don’t believe my file is THAT big but they have certainly added some MB’s! So now that I have published (yay) I must download a copy for LAC within a week of publishing. Good luck to all you future authors. 🙂

If you run into any difficulties or need further information,  I’m happy to help.

Best Regards,