Book cataloguing decoded

ISBNs and barcodes are essential basics for any self-publishing author. Linking into a system introduced in the early 70s, an ISBN is your book’s unique identifier and it allows you to take advantage of the internationally recognised cataloguing system. It’s easy to get one via Spiffing Publishing.

Distribution questions answered: +44 (0)1206 585200.

“Spiffing made the whole process simple and enjoyable”

D J Terry
Author of Adopted

“Whatever I needed, Spiffing were right there”

Dr Sandra Lean
Author of Innocents Betrayed

Affirm your publishing brand

An often overlooked item, this 13-digit number is your ticket to retail accessibility, so it’s essential that you allocate one for each of your print editions and, of course, your eBook versions. It may not seem too important to begin with, but as your book sales grow, your ISBN will be used by the book trade and public to identify and differentiate your books in all of their editions, check stock levels at retail outlets and perform library searches. Your ISBN is linked to all of your book data, making it a valuable piece of information to help catalogue and map your products and presence as an author. You may already know that ISBNs are also used to generate the barcodes for each of your printed editions. We assist many self-publishers in the application of their allocation of ISBNs, which are available in blocks of 10, 100 or 1000. By applying for these, you become an independent publisher, and all searches performed via any of your allocated ISBNs will return results bearing your chosen publishing name.

At Spiffing, we create publishing brands for independent authors looking to self-publish in the truest sense. That involves us advising you on the most appropriate way of approaching your ISBN allocation. Should you buy them in your own name, in a publishing name, or perhaps pertaining to a book series that spans many titles? And does this ink into the way you present your website? We can answer these questions and any others you may have. Our clients tell us there’s something incredibly satisfying about choosing a publishing house name, applying for ISBNs and seeing their own independent publishing logo on the spine of their latest title. So acquiring ISBNs is not just a box-ticking exercise but also an essential and pleasing part of the creative process that ties your titles, author profile and publishing label together. To learn more about distribution, visit our dedicated information page here.

“Spiffing have been a joy to deal with in every aspect”

Rupert Harry Miller
Author of Life of a Salesman