The various ISBNs of The Whispering Room

Full story below.

There are four different ISBNs for the trade hardcover of The Whispering Room. They are:

Version 1:
Bantam Trade Hardcover, ISBN: 9780345546807

Version 2:
Target Signed Hardcover, ISBN: 9780525486428

Version 3:
Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million Online Signed Hardcover, ISBN: 9780525486411

Version 4:
Barnes & Noble In-store Signed Hardcover, ISBN: 9780525486244

The fun part is that they all share the same copyright page with the same ISBN that matches the one on the dust jacket of the un-signed trade hardcover…

The long version:

As with other recent titles like The City, Innocence, and The Sielent Corner, there have been pre-signed copies made available through Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Target. In previous cases, the B&N/BAM copies and the Target copies have each had their own custom ISBN on the dust jackets. This time (and hopefully not previously) there was seemingly another factor: in-store vs. online and Barnes & Noble (and maybe BAM too…?)

Here’s how I cam to discover this:

I pre-ordered everything online. I managed to mistakenly order two copies of the B&N/BAM edition from B&N so when they both arrived I figured that I’d just return one of them for a refund. But, I also noticed that neither of my online-ordered copies had “signed copy” stickers on them and, for maybe the first time ever, I was disappointed in their not being a sticker on the book.

But, I had seen signed copies in my local B&N with stickers so now I wanted to return both of my un-stickered copies and get one w/ a sticker. One return, one exchange. Not wanting to try to explain all of this to my friendly neighborhood bookseller, I figured I’d make two trips, the first for an exchange, the second for a return.

But first I called one of the local stores to make sure they stll had signed copies on hand. I was told they did not, and that no other stored in town did either. Well, I guess I’d return on on this trip, then the other on another trip.  So off to B&N I went…

When I arrived, I took a chance and looked on the front-of-store octagon and found five signed copies! (Bookseller fail.) So, I’m back to my original exchange plan. Signed & sitickered copy in one hand, signed un-stickered copy & receipt in the other, I headed for the cashwrap. A simple exchange the I and the bookseller assumed. But wait! The ISBNs don’t match! (Ok, now my collector’s Spidey-sense is tingling but I’m not going to try to explain this to the bookseller. It’s already too complicated.)

Manager called & more confusion ensues. In the end I get my in-store, signed, and stickered copy and I still have a signed, un-stickered, online copy. Two different ISBNs on the dust jackets. All because I accidentally ordered to copies online in the first place.

(As a follow-up I did find a signed copy in a Target and its ISBN matched the one I ordered online.)

However, I can’t confirm that all online copies weren’t stickered, nor can I confirm that all in-store copies were, nor whether Books-A-Million stores had yet another ISBN. (Thinking no but I no longer have one within a reasonable driving distance to check.)

In the end, here’s hoping that the previous titles didn’t have a unique B&N in-store ISBN as I really don’t want to have to go hunting for copies.

If you know something I don’t about all this, please, as always, leave a comment.

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