The International ISBN Agency

Easily recognisable as the identifier for all kinds of books, the International Standard Book Number is key to an efficient and effective book supply chain.

The International ISBN Agency is the registration authority for the Standard on a global basis. 

Focus on

  • The Capital Building, Washington DC

    From early 2020 the United States ISBN Agency (operated by Bowker) will begin assigning ISBNs starting with the prefix element 979. (These assignments will be in addition to  ISBNs with prefix element 978 that the US currently assigns). The introduction of ISBNs from the 979 ranges is necessary to increase the available inventory of some ISBN block sizes.

    What does this mean for publishers, libraries and retailers?
    Prior to 2007, the ISBN was 10 digits in length. In January 2007, the 13-digit ISBN was launched to increase the capacity of the ISBN system.

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  • An image of the Planet Earth above an open book

    The International ISBN Agency will be undertaking a project to redevelop its website architecture and database services in 2020. As a result, we have issued an Executive Summary document to be read by companies who wish to consider submitting a tender for the redevelopment of our website and services. The Executive Summary contains more information about the nature of the project and some of the software specifications. It can be read or downloaded as a .PDF document...