ISBN Numbers & Barcodes

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What’s an ISBN number?

The official definition from ISBN International is:


An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number. ISBNs were 10 digits in length up to the end of December 2006, but since 1 January 2007 they now always consist of 13 digits. ISBNs are calculated using a specific mathematical formula and include a check digit to validate the number.


Are ISBN’s Required to Publish?

No, you don’t need an ISBN to become published. It’s a good idea to get one if you plan on selling your book in major book stores like Barnes & Noble, Chapters Indigo, Amazon and more. By obtaining an ISBN number, you will allow your book to be cataloged within the ISBN database so that someone can search by the ISBN number and try to find your book someone for sale.


What is an ISBN used for?

An ISBN is essentially a product identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and other supply chain participants for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control purposes. The ISBN identifies the registrant as well as the specific title, edition and format.

Source: ISBN International

Do I Need a Barcode ISBN?

If you intend on selling on Amazon, yes, you will need a bardcode and it will need to conform to Amazon’s requirements through Amazons Kindle Direct Publishing ecosystem.

If you do not intend on selling on Amazon, then you do not need a barcode. The benefit of a barcode is that it will provide a retailer (like a bookstore) the ability to scan your book at checkout to provide a price to the cashier or manage inventory. There is no need for books to have barcodes, it is totally optional and free to obtain. Just visit this link to obtain a variety of barcodes totally free.


ISBNs, the Law and Copyright

The ISBN is an identifier and does not convey any form of legal or copyright protection. However, in some countries the use of ISBN to identify publications has been made into a legal requirement.
Source: ISBN International


Who Needs an ISBN?

It is always the publisher of the book who should apply for the ISBN. If you’re self-publishing, then you are the publisher. That means Copywell is not the publisher, nor does Copywell own any claim to your content or intellectual property. Copywell is just your printer, but their expert book publishing team members can assist you in completing the publishing process in the most efficient way possible with bookstore quality production.

So go ahead and come up with your own publisher name and apply for an ISBN with it.

Source: ISBN International


Getting an ISBN in Canada

To obtain an ISBN in Canada, it’s totally free and takes less than 2 minutes to apply. You can apply for an ISBN number for you book from ISBN Canada by creating an ISBN Canada Account.

Check out this video on What You Need To Know About ISBN Canada

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