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ISBN Numbers and How to Get One

ISBN Number New

Selling your e-book on Amazon doesn’t necessarily require one, but it will, as soon as you start a print version. Any book on your bookshelf or in book stores has an ISBN.

ISBN is the International Standard Book Number, a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books published anywhere in the world. The five parts of an ISBN are:

  • group or country identified
  • publisher identifier
  • title identifier
  • and the check digit

ISBN numbers are assigned by a group of agencies worldwide coordinated by the International ISBN Agency in London, England.

In the United States, ISBNs are assigned by the U.S. ISBN Agency: R.R. Bowker is the independent agent in the US for this system.  You can apply for an ISBN online. On average it takes about two weeks for ISBN’s to be assigned.

The publisher registration fee is US $24.95 plus a service fee that starts at $225.00 for 10 ISBN’s.  There’s also a $25 annual fee for each publisher, so whether you have one ISBN or a thousand, you’ll have to pay that additional amount too.

For a new publisher to get an ISBN – or better ten – will cost (in 2012) US $250 (or US $25 per ISBN). Since you can get 10 ISBNs for the same price as one, it is worth applying for books you have in mind too, rather than just the one you are right now going to publish.

Where to order ISBN’s :

see prices above

United Kingdom & Ireland
10 ISBN = £118.68

Single ISBN=Australian $40.00 and a block of 10 ISBNs=$80.00


The application process is simple and FREE of charge – but only if you are living in Canada.

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in post to public, Publishing


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