What is an ASIN (and other useful things to know)

Writers new to self-publishing often run into the abbreviation ASIN and find themselves confused. Is it the same as an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)? Does one need an ISBN if you have an ASIN?

ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number, a 10-character alphanumeric identifier used by Amazon.com and some of its partners. Amazon.com assigns every book (actually, every product sold at its website) a unique ASIN.

For the most part, the ASIN is not the same as the ISBN. Paperbacks published in the Untied States, for example, need an ISBN to be published and afterward are assigned an ASIN. Ebooks do not require an ISBN but if sold on Amazon.com via KindleDP will receive an ASIN. The 10-digit ISBN for international paperbacks, however, does match the ASIN.

A single product need not have the same ASIN. Sometimes a book will have a different ASIN when sold on a different country’s Amazon.com sites. In addition, the ebook version and a paperback of the same title and content have different ASINs; a digital book is considered a different product than a trade hard copy.

You never need to pay for an ASIN, so be aware of scams trying to convince you to that you need to do so.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.