ISBN Numbers - The New ISBN 13 and Converter

As of January 1, 2007, the new ISBN-13 will replace the ISBN-10 standard. If you are an author of books published before this date, you will not need to get new ISBN numbers. However, if the book is reprinted, both the ISBN and barcode need to be changed.

This change came about because due to the advent of self-publishing, more books are being published today than any other time in history. A book's ISBN number is what uniquely identifies both the publisher and the book.

For those who have become accustomed to the old standard, the conversion adds a new prefix—978—to the beginning of the ISBN 10 and a new check digit to the end. During the transition, it is recommended that publishers include both the ISBN-10 and the ISBN-13 on the Copyright Page of their books. The required format is:

ISBN 10: 0-9748661-0-5

ISBN 13: 978-0-9748661-0-9

If you have published books in print, you can convert your ISBN 10 number to the new ISBN 13 by using this handy ISBN converter:


ISBN Converter

For instance, the ISBN 10 number for my self-published parenting book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting, is 0-9748661-0-5. Using the free conversion tool, my new ISBN 13 becomes: 978-0-9748661-0-9.

Amazon is already on top of this new standard. If your book is listed for sale on their site, simply search for your book and then scroll down to the Product Details to view both your ISBN-10 and ISBN-13. To see for yourself, click on the link to the Amazon page for my book

From now on, it is highly recommended that you use both the ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 in all your marketing, sales transactions, business documents, packing slips, etc. Simply use both numbers where you currently have one. Of course for books published after the first of the year, there should only be one bar code—the EAN bar code which is already a 13 digit ISBN.

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ISBN Number

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