All about ISBNs
An ISBN is a controlled, 10- or 13-digit identification number allowing publishers, libraries, and book dealers to locate books. All ISB Numbers are listed worldwide in bibliographic databases and this means that any bookseller can use these databases to find he publisher of a book so they can order it.
An ISBN is a unique, numeric code for a book. For more information on the history and purpose of ISBNs, see http://www.isbn.org.
To have your work distributed across the book industry, you must have an ISBN. This includes listing it on Amazon and all other on-line bookstores. Each version of a book — paperback, hardcover, second edition — must have a different ISBN. With a unique ISBN to distinguish between versions of a book, customers will always be sure that they are ordering the correct one.
First Edition Publications can advise on all aspects of acquiring an ISBN for your publication. For information on costs please contact:
The UK ISBN Agency
12 Dyott Street
London WC1A 1DF
Phone:(+44 )0207420 6008
Once you have an ISBN, First Edition Publications can also acquire a bar code for your publication. Where a published book has an assigned ISBN number, it is essential to display a barcode on the back cover containing the ISBN number and some additional information. It is used by bookstores to scan sales information at checkouts, and by many distribution services (such as the stores system in Amazon) to confirm products are correct when being picked for orders.
If your book is for general publication, make sure that you have a barcode. Without it, many outlets will refuse to stock your book.
ISBN numbers are displayed as a 13-digit set.