ISBN code for books, assistance from the National Library

ISBN – meaning of the abbreviation:

ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique international identification numbering system.

Identifies each product form or publication of a monographic publication (whether in print or electronic form).
Issued or produced by a single publisher.

What is the structure?

It is a series of numbers, consisting of 13 elements, structured in five groups:

  • prefix – 978 – EAN.UCC ISBN prefix
  • registration group – identifies a specific country, geographic region or language area.
    To be determined by the International ISBN Agency; Bulgaria was awarded registration groups 978-954 and 978-619
  • registrant – identifies a specific publisher.
    Different length depends on the volume of production of the publisher. It is awarded by the National ISBN Agency in accordance with the areas (ranges) defined by the International ISBN Agency. For Bulgaria, publishers can receive 2, 3, 4, and 5-digit individual codes. A common (shared) code has also been defined Author’s Edition 978-954-799 and 978-619-188
  • edition – identifies a specific format or edition of a monographic publication. (example: 978-619-XXXX-25)
  • check digit – designed to validate numbers (example: 978-619- XXXX-25-0).

For what purpose?

ISBN is intended for the indefinite identification of each individual product form (edition or format) of a monographic publication. It contains a code that identifies the edition, which is a specific title, edition and format.

What are the benefits?

  • Provides fast and accurate identification of monographs
  • Facilitates a number of activities performed by publishers, booksellers, libraries, online marketers and other actors in the supply chain such as ordering, selling, subscription, distribution, inventory control and more. of monographs
  • Assists with the search, sharing and automated processing of information on monographs worldwide
  • Promotes the registration of monographs in various catalogs and databases
  • Refines the citation of non-fiction
  • Allows barcode generation based on number digits.

Which publications are awarded?

  • books and brochures
  • audio books on various media such as cassette, CD and more.
  • electronic book editions (CD, DVD, e-books,)
  • digitized copies of print publications
  • cartographic editions
  • graphic editions
  • Braille’s books
  • mixed content editions where the main part is text
  • reissues and serials
  • films and software for educational or teaching purposes.

On which publications does not stick?

  • continuing editions
  • notes
  • dissertations and abstracts of dissertations
  • standards and patents
  • cards
  • stamps
  • electronic communications and other electronic correspondence
  • website, domain
  • music recordings
  • software that is not intended for educational or teaching purposes
  • Identity Documents;
  • games
  • advertising (ephemeral) materials
  • editions without title page and text.

What’s the difference between ISMN?

An ISBN is a monograph (book) identification number.
ISMN is intended for the identification of sheet music. Monographic sheet music (eg song books, books of note containing extended text or illustrative material) may receive both numbers and should be published in the edition. As a rule, an edition in which at least 30% of the content is notes receives an ISMN.

What’s the difference with ISSN?

An ISBN is a monograph (book) identification number. ISSN is intended to identify continuing editions. Monograph series can receive both numbers. In this case, the ISSN is assigned to the title of the series and identifies the entire series of books published under one common serial title, while each individual book in the series with a different title receives its own ISBN, both of which must be published in the edition. 9. Is the ISBN mandatory? ISBN is not a mandatory number and is assigned at the request of the publisher. It does not constitute a compulsory registration of a single edition or a prerequisite for its publication, i. editions may also exist without this number. In many cases, however, the labeling of an ISBN is due to factors related to distribution, sales, and more.

Is it paid and how long does it take to receive it?

No. Assigning a serial number is free, but for inclusion in the ISBN system and obtaining a publisher ID (code), as well as for awarding a new code after the original one is exhausted, a state fee of the size of the awarded code is paid, as follows : – for 5-digit codes (0-9 numbers) – 5 BGN; – for four-digit codes (00-99 numbers) – BGN 11; – for three-digit codes (000-999 numbers) – BGN 26; – for two-digit codes (0000-9999 numbers) – BGN 44. The fee is payable on the spot at the National Library or by bank transfer. The award of a publisher’s ID (code) or number in the ISBN system is usually made within one day, or at most, within three days of receiving the request, if the publisher’s requirements are met. Note: After the five-digit code is exhausted, no fee will be charged for redefining the five-digit code.

What is the relationship with the barcode?

ISBN is a digital expression of the barcode. Integrated into the barcode system, ISBN provides for the sale of monographs at mass distribution sites such as bookstores and more. Is there an ISBN link to the Copyright Act? No. Awarding an ISBN is not a matter of copyright regulation, but since it identifies the edition, attribution is important in determining the ISBN. A different ISBN is assigned when the author is changed. Authorship information is provided by the publisher. When it comes to assigning an ISBN in the categories of the author or publisher’s edition, authorship is explicitly noted in the edition

Is it related to the Law on the Compulsory Deposit of Printed and Other Works?

Regardless of whether a monographic publication has an ISBN or not, it is subject to compulsory deposit with the National Library under the Compulsory Deposition of Printed and Other Works Act (LPDPA). After the books have been published, publishers are required to deposit free of charge a certain number of copies of their publishing production, depending on the circulation (see Mandatory deposit of documents).

In which cases is a different code defined or a new code required?

  • Different ISBNs are given to each individual monographic publication, as well as to each individual product form (separate edition) of a particular monographic publication – different format, different information medium or different content. The definition of a separate or new ISBN is required in the event of a change in the content or format of a monographic edition such as:
  • different print covers and cover changes (e.g. paperback or hardcover, luxury edition)
  • change the content of the edition (e.g., 2nd, 3rd, or other in a row, as well as a modified or supplemented edition)
  • different media and its change (printed, CD-ROM, online, microform, audiobook)
  • different e-book formats and format changes (pdf, ePub, etc.)
  • different titles and reissue under a new title
  • editions with different publishers and change of publisher
  • editions in different languages ​​and change the language of the edition.

In which cases a separate code is not assigned?

The assigned number is valid and it is not necessary to assign a separate number in the following cases:

  • Issue additional circulation of an edition without altering its format or content;
  • Price change
  • Change in color or graphic layout of the cover;
  • Orders (Print-on-Demand abbreviated POD) when content is personalized or modified for the needs of the individual user.

Where should I put myself?

  • For prints – The ISBN is printed on the back of the cover page under the Copyright symbol, in the publisher’s box, and above the 4-cover barcode
  • For CD-ROM editions – the ISBN is published on the homepage or on the page marked with Copyright, on the label on the media or on the box
  • For online editions – the ISBN is prominently displayed on the homepage, the title screen of the publication, or on the page marked with Copyright.

*** Note: The ISBN must be printed in the edition, regardless of whether it has a barcode.

Who can get a Publisher ID (Code)?

Any natural or legal person who meets the requirements of the National Organization for ISBN and Organization’s Instruction and Organization Manual.

What are the required documents to obtain a publisher ID (code)?

  • ISBN (Attachment 1, 1A, 1B, 1B) – 1 copy, self-signed by the publisher (fill in the application corresponding to the responsibility of the property of the natural or legal person)
  • ISBN for awarding an ISBN for an edition (Attachment 2) – to be completed for assigning consecutive ISBNs; when submitted on the spot is in 2 copies, signed by the publisher
  • A copy of the payment order for a paid state fee for obtaining an ISBN (code) in the ISBN system (the fee is for joining the system and awarding the next code, the numbers themselves are not paid)
  • Title page of the book that lists the publisher, place of publication, and year of publication
  • Back of the book’s title page, required by the author and publisher, and by receiving the ISBN in the general code Author’s edition
  • A copy of a document identifying the publisher’s name – for legal entities and natural persons (ET), a copy of the Trade Register or up-to-date status by court, and a copy of a trademark document, if any, for self-insured persons with a Bulstat copy from the Bulstat certificate

***Note: The inclusion of the publisher in the ISBN system and the receipt of the publisher’s identifier (code) is done at the same time as the submission of the ISBN for the first book.

Where can the necessary forms for inclusion in the system be downloaded and what are the ways to submit them?

Registration forms can be downloaded from the National Library website at 0042 & n = 4 & g =. They can be sent by e-mail (, with a simple letter or submitted to the National ISBN Agency at the National Library of St. St. Cyril and Methodius ”(room 54). For publishers who have a password for access to the National Register of Books in Bulgaria, applications for consecutive ISBNs can also be made online in the Register.

What databases is maintained by the National Agency?

The National ISBN Agency maintains databases of books that have been awarded an ISBN and a database of Bulgarian publishers’ names, correspondence addresses and assigned publisher identifiers (codes). Data on publishers are public and available in the National Register of Published Books in Bulgaria.

Which ISBN’s can be seen in the National Register of Published Books in Bulgaria?

The National Register of Published Books in Bulgaria can only see the data on the books of publishers who have given their explicit consent. 23. How can publishers listed in the National Register of Published Books in Bulgaria receive an access password and what are the benefits of receiving it? To receive the password for access to the National Register of Published Books in Bulgaria, send an e-mail to, which should include your name as publisher. You will receive a username and password in response.

Sourse – National Library

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