FAQ with the ISBN team
Many websites generate an ISBN barcode for free—what is the advantage of purchasing an ISBN barcode from MyIdentifiers?
First, a few things about barcodes for your books:
- The barcode which is generated from your ISBN is called a 13 digit EAN barcode, or Bookland EAN, and is specific to the publishing industry. Although the EAN barcode is much like that used for general retail merchandise, the numbering system used to generate the barcode for books is different.
- Your ISBN needs to appear at the top and bottom of your barcode graphic.
- ISBNs and their associated EAN barcodes will then identify you as the author or self-publisher on established bibliographic databases such as Books in Print (in Australia, you need to send a copy of your title for Legal Deposit to the National Library of Australia).
- Not only does your ISBN need to be a part of your EAN barcode, but the barcode graphic needs to be very clear to ensure successful scanning at point of sale.
While you are entirely within your rights to get your barcodes from other sources, there are advantages to buying one from the ISBN agency:
- Obtaining your barcode from your MyIdentifiers account is quick and convenient—it’s a one-stop-shop for your ISBN and barcode needs.
- You can create and download the barcodes as and when you need them.
- You can also see at a glance your list of ISBNs and the barcodes attached all in the one place.
- You can be certain of the clarity and quality of your barcode.
Lastly, if you choose to go elsewhere, rather than looking online, we recommend that you start by asking your printer if they have software to create an EAN barcode using your ISBN. You will have, by that stage, a good working relationship with your printer and you can be more certain of obtaining a quality barcode from them.