If you are a publisher of books, you will need to assign an International Standard Book Number to each of your titles. ISBNs assist librarians, distributors, wholesalers and booksellers in identifying, ordering and maintaining inventory control over new titles. A publisher will be issued ISBNs according to the number of titles in print, to be assigned to each existing title and to future titles.
To receive an ISBN application form or for more information contact:
International Standard Book Numbering/U.S. Agency
You can now apply for ISBN online (or download application materials to mail). Go to the ISBN page on R.R. Bowker's website. They also give more information about Bowker's function as the U.S. Agency for ISBN, as well as listings of places to get ISBN barcodes made.
Also check out the Book Industry Study Group's guide to getting barcodes for your books. The big retailers will not accept your books without barcodes.
Questions regarding the process of registering a copyright or obtaining ISSN or ISBN numbers should be directed to the Copyright Office Recorded Information System at 202-707-3000. If the recorded messages (or websites) do not answer your questions, you will eventually (after a long hold) be put through to an Information Specialist.
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