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Why Buy An ISBN

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by Publisher Services

Why Buy an ISBN?

An ISBN number is the identification link enabling book-sellers and readers, to know essential information about a particular title.

  • The ISBN standards are adopted worldwide.   ISBNs are unique identifier for books globally.  They are used to simplify distribution and purchase of books throughout the global supply chain.
  • Retailers, Distributors and Wholesalers require ISBNs to track book inventory.
  • Buying an ISBN improves the chances your book will be found.  Obtaining  ISBNs and registering your titles insures information about your book will be stored in Bowker’s our Books In Print database. Over 100 million people access this data when searching for books; and it all starts with buying an ISBN.


Books and ebooks should be assigned a unique ISBN number to be correctly identified. Every country has an ISBN Agency which administers their ISBN assignments and maintains the global standards. Bowker is the US ISBN agency  and has contracts with agents, such as Publisher Services, to assist self publishers.  Publisher Services is the largest authorized agent and has been providing ISBN and barcodes to self publishers since 2004.