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Introduction - ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique International Publisher’s Identifier number, which is meant for monograph publications. ISBN is the thirteen-digit number, which replaces the handling of long bibliographic descriptive records. ISBN is known throughout the world as a short and clear machine-readable identification number, which marks any book unmistakably. ISBN is a machine readable in the form of 13-digit i.e. Book land EAN Bar Code. This is the fast system for the running of electronic point of sale system in bookshops. ISBN mainly executes ordering and distribution of books, which is the fast and efficient method. ISBN is the essential instrument in modern distribution and rationalization opportunities in the book trade. An ISBN is an important factor in book market.

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) system was introduced in the world in 1972 and in India this system was put into operation in January 1985 by Raja Rammohan National Agency for ISBN and in the alphabetical order of member countries, our country stands at serial No. 55. The Indian ISBN Agency is putting tremendous efforts to popularize the system in India in achieving maximum registration of publishers/authors and other Government/Semi Government organizations/ Institutions through mass media, publishers’ program, publicity through Newspapers, participation in various National Book Fairs, Book Exhibitions and through the help of various associations of publishers & booksellers etc.

The book industry in India is a large complex consisting of the wide range of professionals such as authors, editors, printers, booksellers and distributors etc. Today India is among the top multilingual publishing country in the world. India is the 6th largest book producing country and ranks third in the production of the books in English after the USA & UK.

The National Agency for ISBN is responsible for registration of Indian Publishers, Authors, Universities, Institutions and Government Departments who are responsible for publishing of books/seminars/conferences or any other eligible product. To obtain an ISBN, applicants/stakeholders may apply to RRNA- Indian Agency at The agency is also sending the required reports and data to International ISBN Agency, London which is to be included in the Publishers International ISBN Directory.