ISBN Numbers

Do I need an ISBN number?

Publishers only need an ISBN number if they are planning on selling a book at retail. This includes Amazon.com and other online retailers. If a publisher or author is only publishing a book for family, friends, conferences or direct-to-consumer distribution purposes, they do not need an ISBN.

How do I get an ISBN?

ISBN numbers can be purchased from Bowker at www.isbn.org.  Bowker also will create a barcode for you.

What do I do when I receive the ISBN and where is it printed?

An ISBN should be assigned to each title or product, including any back list or forthcoming titles. Each format or binding must have a separate ISBN (i.e. hardcover, paperbound, VHS video, laserdisc, e-book format, etc). A new ISBN is required for a revised edition. Once assigned, an ISBN can never be reused. An ISBN is printed on the lower portion of the back cover of a book above the bar code and on the copyright page.

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