Finding Your Book - ISBN's

Establishing an ISBN

If you are planning on printing more than a few copies of your book, you will need to setup an ISBN and a barcode to help your target readers locate your book.

An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number and is a unique 13-digit number which ensures that your book can be identified throughout the world. In 2006 ISBN's migrated from a 10 to a 13 digit number.

The ISBN is necessary for selling your book through booksellers and distributors. Without this number, it will be extremely difficult for consumers to locate your title.

Thorpe Bowker manages the allocation of ISBN’s in Australia. To apply for your ISBN contact:

Maria Watt - ISBN Coordinator

ISBN Agency - Thorpe Bowker

Level1, 607 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
Tel (03) 8517-8349, Fax (03) 8517-8368

To make the ISBN easy for the book trade to use, you must convert it to a barcode – it will make life easy for the bookseller when they need to stock (and hopefully re-stock) your book! The ISBN and the barcode need to be positioned on the cover and are typically on the bottom right-hand side of the back cover, near the spine. Make sure the ISBN sits above the barcode and that you leave a “quiet zone” of 2mm around the barcode where no image interferes with the scanning.

It is advisable to set the barcode up in black on white only, and not out of process colours, as any slight print imperfection may mean that the barcode cannot be read.