Getting Started with Asset Services

Features supported by these services include: 

  • Create a VitalBook asset record with a unique identifier (VBID) and the basic asset metadata
  • Optionally, ingest a PDF or EPUB source file for conversion to the VitalBook (.vbk) format
  • Update the basic asset metadata
  • Update the VBK by submitting a new source file
  • Create custom prices for distributors
  • Request the current metadata for an asset, including conversion ("build") status

Key Background Information

VitalBook Identifiers and ISBNs

Each asset in the VitalSource system has a unique identifier, referred to as the VBID (VitalBook ID). By convention, since published books also have unique identifiers (referred to as the ISBN), a title's ISBN is often used as the VBID. When creating a VitalBook asset via this API, it is preferred that you pass in your desired VBID, either identical to the ISBN or otherwise, by providing an isbn parameter in the call. When no isbn parameter is specified, a unique VBID will be assigned from a pool of product EANs.

This VBID must be used to reference the VitalBook in all future calls. Once this unique identifier is set, it cannot be changed or deleted.

In this document, the terms VBID and ISBN are generally equivalent, except for parameter names. As a parameter, the ISBN is only used to indicate a requested VBID during asset creation. If the requested VBID is not available, an otherwise valid request will return a failure.

API Keys and Imprint IDs

Prior to use of this API, a Manage system user with the appropriate permissions must be created for each publishing company using the API. The API key used in each call below must match the Manage company that owns (or should own) a given record to be created, updated, or queried for info.

Additionally, each call specifies an optional imprint_id parameter. This is a VitalSource-specific unique identifier for each child imprint of a given company. Prior to submitting API conversion requests, it is strongly recommended you obtain the correct imprint IDs for each of your imprints from your VitalSource Customer Success Manager. VitalBooks created without an imprint_id parameter will automatically be created under the telegrapher-api fallback imprint. While functional, this will have negative ramifications as you work with your books in the future.

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