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Monday, May 3, 2010

ISBN and Bar Code

In order to sell your book at the retail level or on, for example, you will need an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and a bar code. If you select a "package" from a printer that caters to self-publishers, you will generally get the ISBN and bar code included in the price.

Important! If you get an ISBN as part of a "package," it belongs to the printer/publisher. Should you decide to change printers before your book is printed, you will not be allowed to use the ISBN they give you or transfer it to your new printer/publisher.

If you self-publish totally on your own, you will need to purchase an individual ISBN from Bowker ( As of this date, the cost for one ISBN is $125.00 for two-week delivery, $150 for two-day delivery, and $175 for one-day delivery.

You can purchase the bar code from your printer, or you can purchase it from Bowker at the same time as you purchase your ISBN. You must have decided what to charge for your book before you order your bar code. If you purchase your bar code and ISBN together from Bowker, they will be embedded in one file for printing on the back cover. The cost for a bar code is presently $35.00.

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