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What is an ISBN, and Why is it Needed?

Published on www.believerspress.com.

I  am John Purcell, and have been a member of the Bowker U.S. ISBN Agency since September, 2011. One of the most frequent inquiries received by the U.S. ISBN Agency is: What is an ISBN, and why is it needed?

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique identifier for each product form or edition of a monographic publication. The ISBN identifies the publisher, the specific title, edition, and format of the publication. Publishers, internet retailers, booksellers, libraries, distributors and others use the ISBN for reference, in processes like ordering, sales records, product listings, and inventory control.

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