ISBN & BarCode

What is ISBN?

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique numeric commercial book identifier assigned to every printed or digital publication even if they seem to be almost identical. For example, three versions of the same book – hardcover, paperback and e-book must have separate ISBNs. Identical reprint (but not an edition) of a book without any changes to the content usually keeps the original ISBN. Privately published books that ae not for a sale publicly might appear without ISBN.

ISBN structure evolved since 1967 when its first, 9-digit version was first devised. In 1970, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) introduced the 10-digit ISBN format which was published as International standard ISO 2108. Previous 9-igit code could be easily converted to 10-digit code by prefixing it with ‘0’.

Assignment of ISBN to publications (both printed and digital) is entrusted to special agencies affiliated with the International ISBN Agency. In Australia, this role belongs to Thorpe-Bowker Identifier Services, the only official ISBN agency of Australia and its Territories.

Structure of ISBN

Although not necessary, it is still useful to understand how modern ISBN is structured.

Coming soon …

As part of our Services for self-publishers, we can obtain the ISBN and barcode for you and then insert into the appropriate positions in the text and cover.