How to use your ISBN Barcode Images

If you purchased ISBN barcode images from us, then the barcode images will be emailed to you straight away after your order. Instructions for how to use your ISBN barcode are below.

1. Insert the ISBN barcode image into the cover design for your book

We will email the ISBN barcode images to you in several different formats. Please use whichever format you prefer (e.g. jpeg).

Insert the ISBN barcode image into the bottom right corner of the back cover design.

Position the barcode image on a flat part of the book. Normally the barcode is on the back cover. Check the barcode doesn’t overlap with the book spine or the crease before the spine. That could make it difficult to scan.

Note: We send ISBN barcode images in 13-digit EAN-13 format. This is the most common format of ISBN barcode used worldwide. However, if you want a 5-digit price code included in your barcode image (EAN-13+5 format), we can do this for you. Please email us to request this.

2. Resize your ISBN barcode image if you want to

The standard EAN-13 barcode size is about 38mm wide x 25mm high. This excludes the ISBN number printed above the barcode bars. The minimum recommended size is 30mm wide x 20mm high.

3. If possible, do a test scan of the barcode before going to print

Print one copy of your book cover and test-scan the barcode. You can do this with a simple hand-held barcode scanner if you have one or with a smartphone barcode scanner app. If you don’t have a phone ask a local bookstore to scan the barcode for you to make sure it works. If they scan the barcode into their system, the ISBN number should display on their screen. No book details will appear as the details haven’t been entered yet.

Also, look at the barcode image under a magnifying glass to make sure the lines of your barcode bars have been printed well. They should be crisp and clean (with no ink spreading or blurriness). The barcode images we supply are high quality, however, many things can affect the final quality of the printed barcode image (e.g. how they are inserted into the book design, how they are edited/resized, what material they are printed on, and what printing process is used).

4. When a retailer receives your book, they’ll connect the book details to your ISBN number in their system

Your ISBN number is just a blank number at first. It only gets connected to your book details when a retailer scans your ISBN barcode into their system and then types in your book details (title, author, price, format, and re-ordering details). After they do this, the next time that retailer scans your barcode, the correct book details will appear on their screen.

5. Register your ISBN number (optional)

You can register your ISBN number and book details in the International Barcodes Database (this is optional). If you want to do this, please order “Registration” on our website. Then we will send you instructions on how to register your ISBN number.