Originally ISBN’s were 10 digits long, revised to 13 digits in 2007. They contain five groups of digits which provide information identifying the date, region, publisher, title and edition, and finally a check-digit which validates the ISBN. This is why they contain dashes.
- Step One – Do I really need an ISBN?
Unless you are printing less than 50 copies of your book for loved ones, then yes. Book dealers will generally not stock titles without an ISBN barcode. Keep in mind that if you are also intending to publish your work as an e-book, or in both hard- and soft-cover, that you will need a unique ISBN for each different version.
- Step Two – Request your ISBN Number (or your country’s equivalent)
What we’ll need from you:
- Title of the publication
- Name and address of your publisher (or your address if you are self-publishing)
- Contact details – Name, Physical and/or Postal Address, Contact Numbers and Fax Number if you have one, Email Address
- Is the publication in only physical format or is there an electronic version too?
SA Barcodes is assigned a block of available ISBN Barcodes, so as soon as we have this info from you we can allocate your ISBN number, and its corresponding barcode images for you to include in your cover design.
- Step Three – Time to design your ISBN barcode
If you already have an ISBN number, we can do the design of the barcode image for you for only R150.00. Contact us for more info.
- Step Four – Provide your publisher or printers with your ISBN barcode
If you are self-publishing your book then you will need to send the ISBN to your printers who will add it to your publication.
- Step Five – Post-publishing
This unfortunately is the inevitable admin bit. Under the Legal Deposit Act of 1997 you will be required to provide one free copy of your book along with an information sheet to the six areas of legal deposit, but the ISN will provide you with full details with your ISBN code. You need to do this within 14 days of publication.
And that’s it! If you have self-published a book or have any questions at all feel free to let us know in the comments.