Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This is a follow up to my recent post "Understanding ISBN numbers and UPC Codes". I felt I needed to add a few more bits of information about getting the ISBN Numbers and UPC Codes and their costs.

Bowker is the U.S. broker of ISBN numbers. This is the place to go to get your number. Usually, Bowker sells numbers in blocks of 10, for approximately $250, or a cost of $25 per book. This price also includes the UPC Code (Bar Code) which you will also need. If you don't wish to purchase ISBN's in blocks of 10, you can purchase a single ISBN. However, it's not as easy, and not as cost effective. You have to call Bowker directly at 877-310-7333 and request a faxed application for $125.00. I haven't yet been able to find the form downloadable from their site. Additionally, this cost is for the ISBN number only and you have to purchase the bar codes separately for a cost of $25.00.

You don't have to purchase the bar code from Bowker though, there are other options available. If you want to do it yourself, there is a whole list of ISBN software available online for generating your own codes, or you can try companies such as Bar Code Graphics that will create the bar code image for you for about $10.

On a final note, you may also want to consider registering your book with Bowker's directory "Books in Print". This is their master list of all books available. Oddly enough, when you buy your ISBN number from Bowker, you aren't automatically registered into the master list.