ISBN Definition

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books published internationally.

Where to Get

As the Official ISBN Agency for the United States, Bowker is exclusively responsible for the assignment of ISBN for publishers. Bowker collects information about books published in the United States.


The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify one title or one unique edition of a title from one specific publisher. An ISBN allows for more efficient marketing and cataloging of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers, and distributors.

Cost - Bowker

ISBNs are sold individually or in blocks of 10, 100, and 1000.

One ISBN is $125.00

A block of 10 is $250.00

To purchase ISBNs, please visit this website.

Cost- IngramSpark

You can purchase a Bowker-issued ISBN on IngramSpark for $85.00.

ISBNs purchased through IngramSpark are non-refundable. As the publisher, you will own the ISBN. 

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