About ISBNs

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What is an ISBN?

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique, internationally recognized code assigned to published books and pamphlets as well as certain electronic publications. Each title has its own ISBN. Each different format of an electronic publication (e.g., Kindle, Kobo, EPUB, MOBI, PDF) that is made separately available receives a separate ISBN. Publishers, booksellers and libraries use ISBNs to identify titles and determine the publishing country. An ISBN is required for the sale and distribution of a published work. (Source: Library and Archives Canada)

How do I find an existing ISBN?

If your book already has an ISBN, you will probably find it on the copyright page or on the back cover. For books published in 2007 or later, the ISBN is a 13-digit code beginning with the numbers 978.

How do I get an ISBN?

To get an ISBN number for a new title, you must contact your publisher. If you are a self-publisher, you must register with ISBN Canada. Registration is free.

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