ISBN Converter and Generator

ISBN 10-13 Converter

What is an ISBN Converter?

An ISBN converter is a piece of software that will allow you to convert an ISBN 10 into an ISBN 13. It will also allow you convert an ISBN 10 into an ISBN 13. In the past, publishers used ISBN numbers with 10 digits. But in January 2007, the length of ISBN numbers was increased to 13, to ensure that they did not run out of numbers. ISBN 13 is also compatible with the EAN bar code format, which is made up of 13 digits.

All ISBN Numbers should now have 13 digits. If you have purchased ISBN 10s, you will need to convert them into ISBN 13s.

The only difference between ISBN 10 and ISBN 13 are in the first three digits (the prefix element) and in the final digit, which is called the check digit. An example of an ISBN-10, would be: ISBN 0-86241- 602-7. If you use an ISBN-convertor to change it into an ISBN-13, it would look like this: ISBN 978-0-86241-602-7.

You can find free ISBN 10 converters and ISBN 13 converters online. Albion Research Ltd. have a free ISBN convertor (Link). More resources to convert an ISBN 10 into ISBN 13 and vice versa:

What is an ISBN Generator?

An ISBN generator is a piece of software that allows you to convert an ISBN number into a barcode. If you want to sell your book through retail channels, you will need to convert the ISBN Number into a barcode. Bookshops need to scan the ISBN barcode, at their point of sales system, every time a book is sold. The ISBN bar code is also used for distribution, collecting sales data and stock taking. Most retailers will refuse to stock titles that do not have a barcode.

You can find free barcode generators online, such as:

This barcode generator produces two different types of barcodes. The first type is called a Version NR. This version provides all of the information needed by UK / US retailers and is recommended for the UK / US book trade. The ISBN number is included on the bottom of the barcode in an EAN bar code form. It also printed in eye readable form above the bar code.

Example for NR-Version (without price):


The second type of barcode is called Version NK. This barcode includes the ISBN in the EAN bar code, with another supplementary bar code which encodes the price. This version is recommended for UK publishers who wish to sell books to the US market.

Example for NK-Version (with price 9.99):


It includes The ISBN number and an additional add on, which encodes the price (in this case 9.99). Retailers in the US use this barcode. It can also be used in the UK as well. You can find more information about bar codes at Book Industry Communications (Link).

You can also purchase barcodes from a specialist supplier. The Book Industry Communication provides a list of recommended suppliers at their website. You can access these here. If you are a member of GS1, you can use their online barcode generator here.

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