What is an ISBN?
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and is a unique identifying number for a book. It refers to a specific edition which means that a paperback and a hardcover of the same title will have different ISBNs. A textbook will have a separate ISBN for each edition. If a book is reprinted by its same publisher, without any changes or revisions, it will keep the same ISBN. Publishers, libraries, booksellers both in retail stores and online, find ISBNs invaluable. A book shopper can also find them very helpful.
All books published since 1970 (1974 in the U.K.) have 10-digit ISBNs.
Since 2005-2007 books also have a 13-digit number which begins with 978.
To find the ISBN look on the back of the book. If the number is not identified as ISBN, then look in the bar code area for a 13-digit number beginning with 978. The ISBN can also be found on the Copyright page in the front of the book.
Tips for using an ISBN for a search:
- You can use either the 10-digit or 13-digit ISBN to search in the keyword field on Biblio.com.
- You do not need to include dashes, just the number with no spaces between the numbers.
- An ISBN refers to a specific edition of a book. If you need a particular edition or format for a book, the ISBN should guarantee getting the book you expect.
- This is particularly relevant with textbooks and other books that have been updated.
- As previously mentioned, paperback editions and hardcover editions will have their own ISBNs.
- If you are looking for a book with specific formatting such as large print, or possibly an edition printed in the U.K. instead of the U.S., then the ISBN can be very useful.
- If you want to read a book but are not particular about the edition, then don’t limit yourself to one ISBN. Search with the title or title and author information.
- Keep in mind that books published before 1970 will not have an ISBN. Even though a book is currently out-of-print, as long as it was published after 1970, it will have an ISBN. Sometimes books that are out of print are reprinted.
Biblio offers a unique multiple ISBN search that allows you to enter one or more ISBN numbers to be searched for simultaneously. Biblio’s ISBN Search helps you find the right title, every time.