How ISBNs are Allocated

How ISBNs are allocated

For the purpose of the ISBN system, a Publisher is defined as any person, company, partnership, association, group or body, of any kind whatsoever issuing and publishing a book. Note that publishing a book is not printing a book, and the ISBN is issued only to the publisher rather than the printer, except in those rare cases where the printer is also the publisher, i.e. financing the production of the item.

ISBNs should be given to:

  • Printed books and Pamphlets
  • Micro-form Publications
  • Braille Publications
  • Books on cassettes
  • Microcomputer Software machine-readable tapes designed to produce readable Print-Out
  • Other similar media including educational films and transparencies

ISBNs are not given to:

  • Ephemeral printed materials such as diaries, calendars, advertising matter,
  • theatre and concert programmes, prospectuses etc.
  • Art prints and art folders without title page and text
  • Sound recordings
  • Serial Publications (except: year-books, annuals, monographic series)