Overview
Transition
Examples

ISBN-13 barcodes can be obtained instantly from createbarcodes.com The web application can automatically convert to ISBN-13 from an existing 10-digit ISBN.

Overview of the New ISBN-13 Format

As of January 2007, ISBN agencies all over the world have began to assign new ISBN numbers that are 13 digits long, replacing the 10 digit numbers currently provided. Since ISBN numbers are used to identify books for production, ordering, inventory, or researching, it is imperative that publishers understand the rationale and ramifications behind this upcoming major change. The complexity of making the transition will vary from publisher to publisher, depending on existing systems and practices.

Benefits of the new ISBN-13 Format:

  • Increase the available number of ISBNs worldwide.
  • Enable conformance to the EAN global numbering system.

Converting to ISBN-13
In essence, the ISBN-13 is the data encodation of the existing Bookland EAN – the number derived from the current ISBN in the bar code symbol.  Publishers can utilize our conversion utility to convert their existing ISBN-10s to ISBN-13s.

To convert the current ISBN-10 into a ISBN-13 format:

Example:  0-123456-47-9

  1. Begin with prefix of “978”
  2. Use the first nine numeric characters of the ISBN (include dashes)
    978-0-123456-47-
  3. Calculate the EAN check digit using the “Mod 10 Algorithm”
    978-0-123456-47-2

ISBN-10         0-123456-47-9
ISBN-13  978-0-123456-47-2

As of January 1, 2007 , the numbers issued by all ISBN agencies have the new 13-digit structure; but as blocks of ISBN-13s built on existing ISBN-10s are exhausted, new blocks will be prefixed with 979 instead of the current 978.

Timing for the Transition

Convert an ISBN-10
to ISBN-13 Format



ISBN-10 Number



Our batch conversion tool will supply publishers with a range of numbers in both the ISBN-10 and the ISBN-13 format from their publishers prefix (i.e. 0-12345)


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For information on how to obtain ISBN numbers and Bookland EAN barcodes, please call 800-662-0701 x240.