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ISBN...
 
The International Standard Book Number
is a universally recognized, 10-digit number
ISBN: International Standard Book Number
The ISBN is a unique, machine-readable identification number. This universally recognized, 10-digit number is divided into the following four parts, each separated by a hyphen:
  1. Group/country identifier -
    identifies a national or geographic group of publishers -
  2. Publisher identifier -
    identifies a publisher within a group;
  3. Title identifier -
    identifies a title or edition of a title; and
  4. Check digit -
    single digit which validates the ISBN.
An ISBN should be assigned to each title.
Each format or binding (i.e. hardcover, paperback, CD, e-book, etc.) must have a separate ISBN. A new ISBN is required for a revised edition. Once assigned, an ISBN can never be reused.

Where to apply for an ISBN number
U.S. publishers should apply for ISBNs with the following agency:
U.S. ISBN Agency
630 Central Avenue
New Providence, NJ 07974
Tel: 877-310-7333
Fax: 908-665-2895
E-mail: isbn-san@bowker.com
Website: http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/index.asp

this website features an online application, as well as a printable application which you may submit via U.S. mail.

A minimum of 10 ISBNs must be ordered at any one time.

Applications are generally processed within 10 business days.

For an additional fee, you may request priority processing, which takes 2 business days.

Allow room on the lower back cover to print the ISBN in barcode format, along with the retail price of your book.

Crane can create this barcode for you for printing on your book.

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