Which Publications Require An ISBN?

An ISBN or International Standard Book Number, is the unique numeric identifier that’s used around the world to identify books and many publications.

If in doubt as to what publications require an ISBN the following is a list of items that do.

Books (printed)
eBooks (digital books)
Picture books
Graphic novels
Posters (educational)
CD-ROMs (non music)
DVDs (educational, documentary)

Items that do not qualify for ISBNs are:

Coloring books (with no text)
Comic books (periodical format)
Art prints and posters
Board games
Crossword puzzles
Customizable products
Digital applications
Greeting cards
Individual pictures or photographs
Music CDs
Office supplies and stationery (e.g., agendas, bookmarks, diaries)
Periodicals (e.g., journals, magazines, newspapers)
Playing cards
Search engines
Sheet music and music scores
Shirts (e.g., t-shirts)

For more information or to check on items that do not require an ISBN in Canada visit ISBN CANADA.

In Canada ISBNs can be acquired free of charge at ISBN CANADA. In the United States BOWKER is the company responsible for issuing ISBNs. Cost starts at $125 for a single ISBN and $250 for ten.

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