From the ISBN team

FAQs with the ISBN team

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Why do I need a barcode?

The assignment of a unique ISBN (International Standard Book Number) to each title is often a requirement for selling your titles through major retailers as well as other wholesalers and distributors. Booksellers prefer to use a machine readable or scannable version of that number in their systems for processing print book sales. The Bookland EAN symbol is the most widely used barcode format in the publishing industry as it encodes the ISBN. Barcodes can also be encoded with the book price by the retailer. You can purchase industry standard barcodes on the MyIdentifiers website.


Do I need a barcode or ISBN for my ebook?

It is recommended that each format of your ebook (e.g. Mobi, EPub) has its own ISBN attached. However, you do not need a barcode for ebooks. Barcodes are placed on printed publications which can then be scanned at the point of sale.


Do I need an e-ISBN for my ebooks?

There is no such thing as an e-ISBN. Regular ISBNs can be used for various publication formats, such as ebooks, printed books, audio books, or DVDs.


My login is not working for MyIdentifiers. What should I do?

It is best to email us at always quoting your Publisher name as well as Username (usually your email) and an existing ISBN if you have one. We will endeavour to reply within 24 hours. Alternatively, you can phone us at (03) 8517-8349 and when leaving a message please quote the above details. We will get back to you as soon as possible.


How can I retrieve some old ISBNs I purchased years ago?

You can do this by creating a login (account) on the MyIdentifiers website.  Click on the register button at the top right-hand corner of our homepage. Click the ‘I have previously purchased ISBNs from Bowker’ button to open the ‘Find Me’ page. Use the Search fields to locate your existing publisher record.  It is most effective to search by using one of your existing 13 digit ISBNs. Once your Publisher field is found, select the Publisher name then address (don’t try to correct the address if it is out of date – you can do this once you have created your account from the ‘My Profile Data’ tab). Create your login on the registration page and make a note of it. You will then be able to login to your MyIdentifiers account and click on the My Account > Manage ISBNs to view and use any available existing ISBNs you may hold. There is no payment involved for this process.

If you are unable to locate your existing ISBN list call us on (03) 8517-8349 quoting your old ISBN as reference. It will help to expedite your query.


The ISBN agency will be closed from midday 22 December 2017 to 2 January 2018. However, you can purchase ISBNs, barcodes and other self-publisher products and services via the MyIdentifiers website 24/7.

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