It depends on where you are located. If you are from the US then Bowker is not only reputable but the only ISBN agency for you. Yes, the Bowker ISBN agency (company) is a monopoly. The good part is, if you want not to pay high fees to Bowker to obtain an ISBN for your book, then get an ISBN from a book publishing company. This applies for those who want to self-publish their book.
When you go to Bowker to obtain an ISBN, you are required to choose an imprint name. Imprint name (publishing name) could be your company name, registered or unregistered. If you don’t have a company name, then you can obtain an ISBN under your personal name. This might create an issue if someone else with the same imprint name is also publishing a book. You should do research, having a unique imprint name is recommended.
For Non US Citizens
If you are an author not from the US, then Bowker is not the place to obtain an ISBN for you. ISBN agency only issues ISBNs to book publishers in a particular country. Bowker only issues ISBN to US companies and individuals. You will have to do some research to find out ISBN agency in your country.
If you want to obtain a US-based ISBN and you are not from the US, then we can help you. Instead of obtaining an ISBN from the ISBN agency, you can publish your book with us, and we will use our US-based ISBN to publish your book. You will own 100% ownership of your book. We offer publishing service for independent authors. You pay upfront service fees only.
There is another option if you just want the ISBN and publish your book by yourself, then we can help you with this too. You can just buy ISBN from us at an affordable cost and instant ISBN without lengthy ID proof. You will also get ISBN barcodes and support with your purchase.