What is an ISBN?

While publishing a book we are frequently queried about various terms regarding publishing. One of them is ‘What is an ISBN?”. Every day we come across writers’ dubiety regarding ISBN. So, here we are mentioning a few important points to focus, clarify and sequence the term ISBN and why is it necessary for a writer and an author to have one. We hope the main points briefly described below would help you to elucidate and resolve your queries in a better manner.

What is ISBN?

ISBN is an abbreviation (International standard book number). It is a 10 or 13 digit number that identifies the peculiarity of a book. It is assigned to each edition of a book and ebook (except the reprints). It is usually printed on the back of the book with a barcode. Before 30th December 2006 ISBNs were 10 digits long but after 1st January 2007, they consist of 13 digits which are calculated using a specific mathematical formula.

Why It Is Necessary to Have an ISBN?

An ISBN is necessary for publishers to get identification in a specific manner. Not only by the Publishers it is also used by libraries, distributors, wholesalers, universities and booksellers as well to control various activities related to ordering, listing, stocking, and marketing.

It is mandatory to have an ISBN if you want to sell your book through offline or online stores for its unique Identification. However, ISBN is not needed to publish content with DIY platforms like Amazon’s kindle direct publishing.

What Are the Benefits of ISBN?

An ISBN identifies each book, its edition, its publisher and instead of handling records, catalogs and lists in the description; the ISBN code can be used directly to identify a specific book by the Universities, libraries, wholesalers, booksellers etc. It saves a lot of time, manpower, employees cost. It also reduces errors.

How to Get an ISBN?

To get an ISBN you need to register for an account on the online portal (http://isbn.gov.in/) launched by the ISBN agency. They do not accept paper registration forms now. The whole process is done online.

To apply for an ISBN you should fill up the application form online and be ready to furnish the Book Title, Title Verso Page of Book, Language, Country of Publication, Product Composition, Product Form, Date of Publication, and Author’s/Editor’s Name.

Please note that you should know whether it is going to be published as a paper paperback, hardcover or ebook because even the formats have separate ISBNs.

Hope we have clarified all your doubts related to ISBN through this article. We as a team are ready to clear all your doubts and uncertainties regarding Self Publishing in India, to make it more desirable, uncomplicated and elementary for a writer in all ways.

Here is a Quick Guide to Self Publishing in India

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