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Why Do Books Have International Standard Book Number (ISBN)?




ISBN is an abbreviated name for International Standard Book Number. ISBNs were originally ten (10) digits in length till December 2006; by 1 January 2007, it is now 13 digits. They are generated via a mathematical procedure and contain a check digit to ensure the number is genuine.


International Standard Book Number (ISBN) Elements


ISBN has five (5) elements which are divided by hyphens or spaces.


  • Prefix

  • Registration Group

  • Registrant

  • Publication

  • Check Digit


Why Do Books Have ISBN?


ISBN is simply a product identification that bookstores, publishers, libraries, online retailers, and other supply chain partners use to facilitate ordering, a sales record, listing, and control of stock. It uniquely identifies the registrant as well as the edition, title, and format of the material.


It is issued to monographic books that contain only text and may be used to identify any book that is made openly available (whether for sale or free). Additionally, individual chapters, articles from journals, issues, or serials made available individually may utilize the ISBN as an identification.


It is irrelevant how the information is documented and delivered in terms of the many media accessible; nevertheless, each distinct product form (e.g., EPUB, hardcover, paperback, etc.) should be recognized separately.


International Standard Book Number (ISBN) Application


Book publishers are the ones responsible for applying for an ISBN. The publisher is defined as the group, organization, business, or person who initiates a publication. Typically, it is also the individual or organization that bears the expense and financial risk associated with making a product accessible. Usually, it is not the printer, but it may be the writer or author of the book if they have decided to self-publish.


Numerous nations have specific laws governing publication; therefore, it is advisable to get guidance from their national ISBN office in advance.




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