How to Get the International Standard Book Number ISBN

Written by jordan whitehouse
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How to Get the International Standard Book Number ISBN
Every book you buy will have an ISBN assigned to it. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

An International Standard Book Number, or ISBN, is a number assigned to book or book-like product. ISBNs are used to identify the publisher of a literary product, so that they can be sold in bookstores or circulated in libraries. ISBNs contain 13 digits. In the United States, the agency responsible for registering ISBNs is the Bowker Agency. To get an ISBN, you'll have to fill out an online application.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Computer with Internet connection

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  1. 1

    Navigate the Internet to and click on "Create An Account," located in the upper right corner of the screen. Click on "New Bowker customer."

  2. 2

    Fill in all information for Myprofile, my Company profile and my Account information.

  3. 3

    Click "I Accept - Create my Account."

  4. 4

    Navigate to your personal e-mail account. Click on the highlighted website in the confirmation e-mail from the Bowker Agency to confirm your ISBN account.

  5. 5

    Navigate back to Enter your username and password in the appropriate fields on the home page, and click "Login."

  6. 6

    Click on the shopping trolley icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Make your ISBN purchase by clicking on "Buy now" next to the option you select.

  7. 7

    Click "Checkout" when you have finished making your purchase. Enter your credit card information when requested. Once this is submitted and payment has been accepted, the ISBN(s) will be assigned to you instantly.

Tips and warnings

  • You can purchase a single ISBN or buy ISBNs in packages of 10, 100 or 1,000.

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