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Publishing house “Arbuz”

ISBN (ISBN code). What is it and why is it needed?

The abbreviation ISBN code stands for International Standard Book Number – the international standard book number. It was developed by the International Organization of Libraries and Information Centers (ICA) and adopted in 1975. The ISBN standard is the main tool for ordering and referencing bibliographic records around the world. That is, it is the accounting or, if you like, the inventory number of each book. 

The ISBN system operates all over the world, forming a huge database of all books published in all countries. The ISBN standard defines the format and content of bibliographic records, as well as the rules for their compilation. It also defines the format and content of the IBN, which is the unique identifier of each bibliographic entry. The IBR is a key element of a bibliographic record, as it allows the identification and retrieval of a record anywhere in the world.

Who Provides ISBNs?

The ISBN is needed so that the book can be identified by the international library system and search engines. This number is indicated on the corresponding book cover page or at the end of the book. Each country has one authorized representative who publishes ISBNs for books published in that country. Usually it’s a bookstore.

Technically, the issuance of the ISBN code is carried out as follows: each country has its own group of numbers that are assigned to books by local authors.

For example, relatively speaking, one country is allocated an interval from 100000000 to 200000000, another from 200000000 to 300000000, and so on.

In smaller countries such numbers may be provided by the book chamber itself. In other cases, it also allocates smaller intervals of numbers within its regional block for permanent publishing houses. At the same time, it is not at all necessary to obtain an ISBN only in your own country, this can be done in any other.

What does the ISBN code look like and what does it mean

ИСБН код книги

The book code, for example, looks like this: ISBN 978-617-8111-27-8. It consists of five groups of numbers.

  1. The first group – the numbers 978 or 979 – are used for barcoding books.
  2. The second group – means the country or region. For example, 0 is the US and other English-speaking countries.
  3. The third group can include from two to seven digits and indicates the publisher’s code.
  4. The fourth group (up to 6 digits) fixes the serial number of the edition.
  5. Finally, the last group of numbers or the letter X is the checksum, i.e. some technical information.

The ISBN is a necessary part of the book publishing process. It is used to track and order books, and to identify books in databases and on bookstore shelves. The ISBN is also used to create links between books and other online resources such as reviews and author information.

The importance of the ISBN code

Why the ISBN code is a useful thing can be understood immediately. But, if you take writing seriously and plan to build a career in the literary field, we recommend spending time on its design. This number will allow you to add your book to the general database of works, which,

  • firstly, it will make your creation a part of the world literary heritage;
  • secondly, it will facilitate its search for sellers, librarians and other specialists in the bibliosphere, if they are interested in it.

If you want to distribute your book through stores, most of them will refuse to sell it without an ISBN and a properly formatted title page.

However, this number, which at first glance is necessary for absolutely all authors, may simply not be needed. Main criteria: the final audience of the book and the method of its distribution. For example, if you decide to publish your memoirs, but they are intended only for your loved ones. Or you may have come up with the idea to print several copies of your collection of poems to give to your friends and acquaintances. Of course, in this case, it is not worth spending money, time and effort on the design of an ISBN, which will be completely useless.

After registration of the ISBN number – books are subject to mandatory distribution for reporting to the Book Chamber of Ukraine and several libraries of Ukraine.

Distribution of publications with ISBN code

The distribution is carried out only by the publisher that issued the ISBN number.

The minimum number of books for mandatory distribution is 10 copies. The distribution is carried out by our publishing house, once every 2-3 quarters, based on the total number of books.

General lists of libraries that books can end up in are listed below. Books are selected for distribution to certain libraries based on the genre of books. Technical books are predominantly in technical libraries, art books in art libraries.

An ISBN is a unique number assigned to each book by a publisher. The ISBN code is also used to track and order books. The ISBN code is also used to identify books in databases and on bookstore shelves. The ISBN is also used to create links between books and other online resources such as reviews and author information.

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