How To Get ISBN Numbers In India

What is ISBN Number?

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is a unique International Publisher’s Identifier number, which is meant for mono graphic publications. It identifies publisher and the title of publication. This 13 digit number is machine readable when converted into a EAN-13 barcode. You see this barcode, usually, on the back cover of books.

For what type of material can you get ISBN?
  1. Printed materials
  2. Micro forms
  3. Educational Videos or Movies
  4. Mixed media publications
  5. Microcomputer software (only educational)
  6. Atlases and maps
  7. Publications in Braille
  8. Electronic publications
For what type of material ISBN will not be issued?
  1. Advertising material (sales catalogs, price lists, prospectuses, publicity flyers, etc)
  2. Wall posters, Newspapers, leaflets
  3. Lists of exhibits without additional text
  4. Programs of theatrical, musical, and other performances
  5. Curricula of schools and colleges of all kinds
  6. Lecture and teaching material of manuscript character
  7. Calendars and diaries
  8. Forms & colouring books
  9. Journals and periodicals
Is it mandatory to have ISBN number?

-) No, it is not mandatory to print an ISBN number on your book. You can publish your   book without ISBN. But it is recommended to have ISBN because it makes your book uniquely identifiable. Also its sale becomes easier at stores where they make bill using a barcode reader. If your book will not have an ISBN bar code –it will be difficult for selling store to make bill for the purchaser of your book.

Will a separate ISBN be required for hard cover book?

Yes, hardcover (hard-bound, cloth-bound, hard-back) and paperback versions of the same book require separate ISBN numbers.

Will a separate ISBN be needed for different language?
Yes. If you’re publishing the same book in a different language –you cannot use the same ISBN. You will need to assign a separate ISBN number to each of various language versions of the same book.
Who can apply for ISBN?

Any person or entity wanting to publish a book can now apply for ISBN.

  1. Self-publisher (an individual who wants to publish book on his/her own)
  2. Publisher
  3. Author
  4. University
  5. Institution
  6. Government Department
Which authority issues ISBN numbers in India?

Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency for ISBN is authorized to issue ISBN number in India. It is an agency under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

How to get ISBN in India?

In order to get ISBN numbers you would need to send an application to Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency for ISBN. In your application you have to provide the following information:

  1. Title of book
  2. Author
  3. Publisher (if you are publishing book on your own, just write “Self-Published”)
  4. Year of publication
  5. Place of publication
  6. Pages
  7. Price
  8. Subject
  9. Language
  10. Paperback or Hardback
  11. Your address for communication

In addition, you will also need to enclose the following along with the application form:

  1. Photocopy of the cover page
  2. Identification proof
  3. A self addressed envelop for return communication
How much time will it take to get ISBN?

Usually, if you have provided all the details in application form, you get ISBN within 8 weeks (two months)