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The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally.The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition, allowing for more efficient marketing of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers and distributors.

The four parts following prefix of an ISBN are as follows:

Group or country identifier which identifies a national or geographic grouping of publishers;
Publisher identifier which identifies a particular publisher within a group;
Title identifier which identifies a particular title or edition of a title;
Check digit is the single digit at the end of the ISBN which validates the ISBN.

There is no legal requirement in the UK or Republic of Ireland for an ISBN and it conveys no form of legal or copyright protection. It is just a product identification number. If you wish to sell your publication through major bookselling chains, or internet booksellers, they will require you to have an ISBN to assist their internal processing and ordering systems. ISBNs are assigned to Publishers in the country where the Publisher's main office is based, this is irrespective of the language of the publication or the intended market for the book.

ISBNs are only available in blocks. The smallest block that can be purchased is 10 numbers. It is not possible to buy a single ISBN. However, if you are publishing in paperback and an ebook, you would probably need 3 of these numbers. The ISBN should appear on the reverse of the title page, sometimes called the copyright page or the imprint page and on the outside back cover of the book. If the book has a dust jacket, the ISBN should also appear on the back of this.

The barcode number for a book should be the same as the 13 digit ISBN. The bar code printed on the back of the book is an essential tool enabling retailers to scan the ISBN into their point of sale systems when the book is sold. All books which are being sold through retail channels should have a bar code, most retailers will refuse to stock titles unless they do.

Publishers can only obtain ISBNs from an ISBN agency. For publishers in the UK and Ireland, this is: The Nielsen ISBN Agency, Midas House, 62 Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 6LQ ( telephone 01483 712 215 , e-mail [email protected] ) is the only body authorised to allocate UK ISBNs and should be contacted by publishing companies before publishing any titles.

The National Published Archive (Legal Deposit)

Publishers in the UK and Ireland have a legal obligation to send one copy of each of their
publications to the British Library Legal Deposit Office within one month of publication. One
copy should be deposited to the British Library; the other deposit libraries may then each
request a copy.

Publications should be sent to:
Legal Deposit Office
The British Library
Boston Spa
Wetherby LS23 7BY
Tel: 01937 546 268
Email: [email protected]
URL: www.bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/legaldep/

For non-print publications, contact the British Library for guidance: 01937 546 535

The Agent for the Legal Deposit Libraries – see contact details below - is responsible for
acquiring legal deposit material for these libraries:

  • The Bodleian Library, Oxford
  • The University Library, Cambridge
  • The National Library of Scotland
  • The Library of Trinity College, Dublin
  • The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries
161 Causewayside
Tel: 0131 623 4680
Email: [email protected]



The Green Line
Holiday in a Warzone - Cyprus 1974

The Green Line - Holiday in a Warzone - Cyprus 2012

The Green Line is a true story of a brutal war seen through the eyes of a child

Paperback £7.99

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