What You Should Know About ISBN

All those who are involved in the publishing industry – from the publishing company’s high management down to that newbie author who hasn’t submitted his or her first work yet – knows what ISBN is. ISBN, otherwise known as International Standard Book Number, is an identification number used to identify published works. Basically, it has the same function as the SKU number in products sold in the supermarket.

What You Should Know About ISBN

  • It has 13 digits. Before 2007 though, ISBNs only have 10 digits.
  • An ISBN is non-reusable.
  • AN ISBN has five parts: the prefix, country or registration group, publisher or registrant element, title and format or the publication element, and check digit.
  • The registration authority for the ISBN system is the International ISBN Agency. It is located in Bloomsbury, London.
  • Bookstores will not sell books that are not listed in their database. To get your book featured in bookstores, you need to get an ISBN then.
  • The check digit (the last part of the ISBN) is now only a single digit ranging from 0 to 9. Previously though, it ranged from 1 to 10, with X placed where 10 was needed.
  • ISBNs do not provide copyright protection for authors.
  • Some countries legally require authors and publishers to use ISBN for the purpose of identifying publications.

How to Get an ISBN

You need to spend money to get an ISBN. You can purchase them in your country. If you are aiming for global marketing, no need to purchase ISBNs in every country you market your book to. You can promote your book internationally and still use the same ISBN every time.

Nowadays, there are countries that provide ISBNs to self-publishers without any charge.

Getting an ISBN is an easy task, regardless if you are self-publishing your book or traditionally publishing. However, you would be able to do it right the first time if you have the right people to help you out. Legaia Books has competent publishing consultants who can help you out. Please give us a call at 1 (844) 692-2665 to talk to our consultants about ISBNs.

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