So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

ISBN-13 For Dummies. Zoe Wykes

ISBN-13 For Dummies is a great introduction to a sweeping change in the numbering system for books. Starting in January 2007 all books will be issued a 13 character ISBN rather than the traditional 10 character number that has been in use for over 30 years. This short 16 page guide also talks about how the ISBN relates to EANs (International Article Numbers) that are used on non-book items for sale and the 14 digit Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTIN). It also shows you how to compute the last digit of the new 13-digit ISBNs so you can convert your existing 10-digit ISBNs to the new 13-digit ones.

Admittedly, this is primarily for the book publishing and selling crowd and their programming staff. So most of us buyers don't need to think about it. However, with desk-top publishing, more and more of us are becoming small independent publishers, and then all this will be extremely helpful. This publication even tells you where to get ISBNs for your books (no, you can't just make them up!).

Even the casual book buyer may want to know a little about the secret inner workings of the book industry and this is the answer. Best of all it is free:


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