Answered By: Elizabeth Ponder
Last Updated: Nov 26, 2018     Views: 21709

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 10-digit or 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally. You can find an ISBN number in several places on a book. Look on the copyright page located in the front of the book near the title page. ISBNs are also often found on the back cover of the book sometimes near the publisher's barcode. Newer barcodes will begin with the numbers "978." If you don't have the book, try looking up the ISBN using

If you are interested in obtaining an ISBN for your book you should do so in one of the following ways:  (1) Your book is assigned an ISBN by your publisher. If you are self-publishing the company you will publish through should be able to assign you a number. For example, if you were to use the company CreateSpace, a publish-on-demand company, you would input information on your book and ask it to assign you an ISBN which it would then do, allowing you to add it to your book before sending the manuscript.  (2)  Otherwise you have to purchase an ISBN from Bowker. To do that you go to and fill out the forms and make the payment.

Comments (1)

  1. This answer could be improved by including how to find the ISBN of an ebook.
    by Daniel on Jan 31, 2018.