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Bookland EAN (ISBN)

Bookland EAN

The Bookland EAN barcode is used internationally to identify books as well as video and audio cassettes and software. The unique number assigned to each item is the International Standard Book Number (ISBN). If you are a new publisher and need one or more ISBNs, the agency responsible for assigning these numbers in the USA is:

121 Chanion Road
New Providence, NJ 07974
Telephone: 908-665-6770 or 877-310-7333 (toll free)
Fax: 908-665-3502
The international agency is:
International Standard Book Number Agency
Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz
Posdamer Strasse 33
D-1000 Berlin 30 Germany
Telephone: (49) 030-2661 (ext. 2338, 2498)
An ISBN is a 10-digit number which is made up of:
  1. Group identifier (1 digit, typically 0 or 1 for English-speaking countries)
  2. Publisher identifier
  3. Title identifier
  4. Check digit
The total length of the publisher and the title identifier is 8 digits. When an identifier is assigned to a publisher, the ISBN agency takes into account the number of titles which the publisher believes will be needed. Larger publishers are given a shorter publisher identification number in order to make more digits available for title identification. Here is a sample ISBN from a publisher (ID number 55615) who has been assigned 3 digits for use as title identifiers:
ISBN 1-55615-678-2
ISBNs are printed on books using the EAN-13 barcode symbology. In normal use, the first two or three digits of an EAN-13 barcode identify the country of origin. The country prefixes 978 and 979 were set aside for the imaginary country of 'Bookland'. To print an ISBN as a Bookland EAN barcode, add the 978 prefix at the front of the ISBN and remove the ISBN check digit from the end; an EAN check digit will be added in its place at the end of the barcode. Thus the Bookland EAN code for the sample shown above would look like this (the ISBN check digit 2 is replaced by the EAN check digit 6 in the barcode):


The Bookland EAN barcode may be followed by a 5-digit add-on supplemental code which contains the suggested retail price. The first digit of the five indicates the currency: 0 for the British Pound and 5 for the US Dollar. Here is a sample with a suggested list price of $18.95:

isbn with price

A supplemental code of 90000 indicates that the book has no suggested retail price. Supplemental numbers in the range 90001 to 98999 may be used by publishers for internal purposes. Complimentary copies of books are marked 99991. The National Association of College Stores uses 99990 to mark used books.