What is an ISBN?

  • ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number
  • These numbers identify books, e-books, audio files, or any other book-like products in a unique format and edition and are used worldwide
  • They are also used to identify the publisher

What is the purpose of an ISBN?

  • An ISBN ensures your book, in all it’s versions, is registered properly so every sale goes as smooth as possible
  • Makes marketing your book to booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers, and distributors more efficient
  • This code also simplifies the distribution, sales, and purchase of books throughout the world

Where can I get an ISBN?

Why should I buy an ISBN?

  • Purchasing an ISBN is the first step to making sure everyone can find your book
  • ISBNs contain essential information that allow booksellers and readers to know: what book they are buying, what it’s about, and who wrote it
  • Most retailers require the ISBN to track their inventory
  • Ensures that your book receives the optimal amount of listings with tons of retailers, libraries, and online services.

How many ISBNs should I Buy?

  • Only one ISBN per version of your book is required
  • If you want a hardcover, paperback, or e-book you need an ISBN for each version/format

What is the difference between an ISBN and a barcode?

  • An ISBN acts like an ordering number or product number
  • A barcode only contains pricing information for the book
  • You can’t get a barcode without an ISBN
  • Retailers will not accept books without a barcode, as it allows them to keep track of sales and inventory
  • You can purchase barcodes through Bowker, your book designer, or a printing company

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