The form above will convert a ten-digit ISBN into its hyphenated form if possible. It will also display the EAN, or ISBN-13 and the GTIN.


The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identification which is intended to be unique. An ISBN is assigned to each separate edition and variation (except reprintings) of a publication. A paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book will each have a different ISBN.

The initial ISBN identification format was devised in 1967, based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering (SBN) created in 1966. The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO 2108 (the 9-digit SBN code can be converted to a 10-digit ISBN by prefixing it with a zero digit '0').

Around 1970, 10-digit ISBNs began being assigned to books, up to 2007. In 2007, to better integrate with UPC, EAN, and later the GTIN barcodes, the 13-digit ISBN was launched. All past ISBNs were place within the 978 'Bookland' prefix.

If and ISBN was assigned on or after 1 January 2007 it, has 13 digits. The method of assigning an ISBN is nation-specific and varies between countries, often depending on how large the publishing industry is within a country.

Privately published books sometimes appear without an ISBN. The International ISBN Agency sometimes assigns such books ISBNs on its own initiative. The United States ISBN Agency is now assigning ISBNs beginning with the prefix 979, which do not have an associated 10-digit ISBN.

The newer 979 prefix effectively doubles the capacity of the system to be assigned to new books. Now that books are being assigned with 979 prefix, the 13-digit ISBN is the proper way to identify books past and present.