How to Get an ISBN Barcode

You’ve finished writing and editing your book, and you feel satisfied. Your book looks amazing and it is about to go to print – BUT it’s missing something important: a barcode! You go onto the internet and do a quick search. ISBN, EAN, UPC… what does all this jargon mean?  (They told you that editing your book would be the hard part!) It can be very confusing working out what type of barcode you need for your book, and how to get one (quickly!). This article will explain everything you need to know about getting a barcode for your book.

Firstly, you will probably need an ISBN number. ISBN stands for “International Standard Book Number.” All books within a library system need to have an ISBN number. If your book is probably NOT going to end up in the library system, you may get away with just using a normal barcode number. If so, you will find it much quicker and easier to get a barcode for your book! Most retailers (including book shops) don’t care whether your book has an ISBN number or just a normal barcode. They are happy to stock your product regardless of the type of barcode it has on it.

If you need an ISBN number for your book, then you will need to get it from your local ISBN Agency – please contact your local ISBN Agency and apply to them for an ISBN number (they will usually charge you a small price for the number). The contact details of all the ISBN Agencies around the world can be found on the International ISBN Agency Website.

Once you have your ISBN number you can get your number turned into barcode images. The best place to get barcode images is from Barcodes Limited. You can buy barcode images for your ISBN number from their website. They will then use your ISBN number to create your barcode images. You will receive your barcode images by email (in 5 different formats: jpeg, eps, pdf, tiff & bmp). All you have to do then is put your ISBN number onto the cover design for your book before it goes to press!

If you don’t want to get an ISBN number for your book, then all you need is a normal barcode. You can get a normal barcode straight away from Barcodes Limited. They will email you a suitable barcode number for your book, along with barcode images. You can then put the barcode image onto the design for your book cover before it gets printed. Barcodes Limited has a very quick turnover, so you can be sure to get your barcode in time (before your book has to go to print!)

If you are getting a normal barcode from Barcodes Limited, you can choose either to get your barcode in 13-digit EAN format (European standard) or 12-digit UPC format (American standard). It doesn’t really matter which format you choose as they both work fine worldwide. If you live outside of America, it is probably best to get the EAN format because this is preferred barcode format in the rest of the world.

Now that you have a barcode on your book, you can get your book printed and chill out. All the hard work is done! As soon as your book has been printed, just give it to your retailers. They will enter the barcode (or ISBN) number into their system along with your product information. After that, when they scan your barcode the product details will appear on their checkout screen (they will also be able to tell when they are running out of stock and need to re-order more of your books). Now you can go on that holiday you were waiting for… or turn your latest inspiration into another book!

To get your ISBN turned into a barcode, please click on one of the following links (depending on your location):

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