ISBN SKU EAN valid already in use distribute free ISBN Purchase ISBN
Independent publishers and authors are responsible for acquiring ISBNs or EANs for their books. A valid and unique ISBN/EAN is needed for books sold through Ingram's Global Distribution network of more than 40,000 bookstores, retailers, libraries, and schools.
What is an ISBN or EAN?
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number), also known as EAN (European Article Number), is a unique thirteen-digit item code provided by your country’s ISBN agency and assigned by publishers to identify the format and edition of a title.
A published book will have a different ISBN or EAN for each product type—one for the hardcover edition, one for the paperback edition, and one for the digital/ebook edition. Retailers and distributors require published titles to have an ISBN/EAN assigned to them for sales and inventory purposes.
Since a book has an ISBN number to identify it, the EAN barcode for a book is then generated from the ISBN of the book. An ISBN and EAN are essentially the same.
If located outside the United States you can visit https://www.isbn-international.org/ to find out where to purchase an ISBN/EAN.
If located in the United States, you can obtain an ISBN in 3 ways:
You can purchase ISBNs from Bowker, YOU own the ISBN. The US ISBN Agency can be located at (myidentifiers.com). Check their website for current pricing.
IMPORTANT: If you purchased the ISBNs from Bowker under one publishing name and you use a different publishing name when uploading a new title to IngramSpark, you will receive an error message. To avoid this, you can update the publisher information at Bowker prior to setting up the new title:
- update your https://www.myidentifiers.com account to the correct name.
- Or, enter the publishing name in IngramSpark as it already appears with Bowker.
- IMPORTANT: If you purchased the ISBNs from Bowker under one publishing name and you use a different publishing name when uploading a new title to IngramSpark, you will receive an error message. To avoid this, you can update the publisher information at Bowker prior to setting up the new title:
- You can purchase ISBNs through your IngramSpark account, for $85 each, when setting up your book and you will own the ISBN. ISBNs purchased through IngramSpark are non-refundable.
Obtain a free ISBN from IngramSpark when setting up your new title. Please note the following stipulations when using the free ISBN:
- The imprint will be listed as Indy Pub
- Any title with a free ISBN must be placed in our wholesale distribution program
- ISBN cannot be transferred to another account in the future
- ISBN cannot be used on any other publishing platforms
- Pricing for at least one distribution market is required and the book will be available for sale through each market pricing is provided for
- If you use a free ISBN and later decide you want to own the ISBN, you will have to set up the book as a new title and purchase a different ISBN for the book
Be sure to use the same ISBN/EAN for your book in all markets. Listing the same book with different ISBNs or EANs on multiple websites or with multiple distributors may confuse retailers and consumers wanting to purchase your book.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: There are websites where you can obtain a free-generated ISBN. DO NOT USE these ISBNs as they are not valid. ISBNs are created using a complex mathematical solution to create a unique identifier & must also be registered with the International Standard Book Number’s governing bodies, such as Bowker in the United States at https://www.myidentifiers.com/ or Neilsen in the United Kingdom at https://www.nielsenisbnstore.com/Home/Isbn. Unregistered, invalid ISBNs will result in the removal of your title & possibly the closure of your IngramSpark account. We do not recommend purchasing ISBNs or EANs from other publishers or sources.