Do I Need an ISBN for my Book?

“Your novel must have a bar code!” your publisher has just informed you – but it’s too late, the manuscript is about to go to print! Other writers told you that editing your book would be the arduous part! You were misinformed! Now you’ve been advised – far too late – that you have to get an appropriate bar code for your book… and immediately. You go onto the internet and do a quick search. ISBN, EAN, UPC… what does all this jargon mean? It can be incredibly bewildering working out which kind of bar code is required, and how to obtain one (quickly). This article will walk you through everything you should understand about getting a bar code for your new book.

To get a barcode for your book, you have two options. You can either get a special book barcode for your book (an “ISBN barcode” – ISBN stands for “International Standard Book Number”), or you can get a normal barcode instead. All books inside a library system need to have an ISBN number; however if your book is probably NOT going to end up in the library system, it is okay to use a normal barcode instead. Most retail stores (even book stores) don’t mind whether your book has an ISBN number or a normal bar code.

  1. Option One: Getting an ISBN Barcode for your book:

If you need an ISBN number for your book, then you will need to get it from your local ISBN Agency – please contact your local ISBN Agency and apply to them for an ISBN number (they will usually charge you a small price for the number). The contact details of all the ISBN Agencies around the world can be found on the International ISBN Agency Website.

Once you have your ISBN number you can get your number turned into barcode images. The best place to get barcode images is from Barcodes Limited – you can buy the barcode images for your ISBN number from one of their websites. You will receive your barcode images by email (in 5 different formats: jpeg, eps, pdf, tiff & bmp). All you have to do then is put your ISBN number onto the cover design for your book before it goes to press!

To get your ISBN turned into a barcode (by Barcodes Limited), please click on one of the following links:

NZ – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
Australia – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
UK – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
Ireland – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
India – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
Singapore – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
Hong Kong – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
South Africa – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
Anywhere in the world – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
All countries – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
Russia – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
Argentina – Get ISBN Book Barcodes
Brazil – Get ISBN Book Barcodes

  1. Option Two: Getting a Normal (EAN or UPC) Barcode for your book:

If you don’t want to get an ISBN number for your book, then all you need is a normal barcode. You can get a normal barcode straight away from Barcodes Limited. They will email you a suitable barcode number for your book, along with barcode images. You can then put the barcode image onto the design for your book cover before it gets printed. Barcodes Limited has a very quick turnover, so you can be sure to get your barcode in time (before your book has to go to print!)

If you are getting a normal barcode from Barcodes Limited, you can choose either to get your barcode in 13-digit EAN format (European standard) or 12-digit UPC format (American standard). It doesn’t really matter which format you choose as they both work fine worldwide. If you live outside of America, it is probably best to get the EAN format because this is preferred barcode format in the rest of the world.

Now that you have a barcode on your book, you can get your book printed and chill out. All the hard work is done! As soon as your book has been printed, just give it to your retailers. They will enter the barcode (or ISBN) number into their system along with your product information. After that, when they scan your barcode the product details will appear on their checkout screen (they will also be able to tell when they are running out of stock and need to re-order more of your books). Now you can go on that holiday you were waiting for… or turn your latest inspiration into another book!

To order a normal EAN or UPC barcode for your book (from Barcodes Limited), please click on one of the following links:

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