The letters in ISBN stand for International Standard Book Number. This number is a unique 13-digit sequence that is assigned solely to your published book. These 13 digits are not chosen at random—far from it.
An ISBN contains five distinct parts:
- The current prefix: Your ISBN will begin with the numbers 978 or 979. All works currently being published will always be prefixed by these numbers.
- The group/country identifier
- The publisher identifier
- Title/edition identifier
- A single check digit
We’ve all seen the barcode countless times, but have you ever wondered: What does it really do? In the simplest terms, a barcode is a graphic used to represent the ISBN assigned to your book. There are two types of barcodes: the ones that list the price of the book and the ones that do not. Barcodes that include pricing information are called price-extended barcodes. If you have ever noticed that a barcode contains two different codes, then you are looking at one of these. However, it may not be obvious at first, for instead of utilising a symbol for currency, such as a euro or dollar sign, a number is used instead. The purpose of this digit is to signify the currency of the price.
An ISBN number and barcode are essential parts of the process for those who want to sell their books in any bookshop or retailer. For authors unfamiliar with this, Shandon Publishing can help you with all aspects of ISBN registration and barcode generation, so this process doesn’t have to be complicated.