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Re: ISBN numbers
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: ISBN numbers
- From: QUEERBOOKS <QUEERBOOKS@AOL.COM>
- Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 16:18:17 EST
- Message-Id: <199803112117.NAA32312@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
It is my understanding that all ISBN numbers have 10 digits. The first diget
indicates the country of publication, the next set identifies the publisher,
the next set identifies the title and the last single diget is a control
number. The sets of numbers for the publisher and title vary in an
interesting way. If you are a large publisher (of which there are few) and
put out lots of books, you have a small publisher number and lots of numbers
for your titles. If you are a small publisher (of which there are many) and
put out few books, you have a large publisher number and just a few digits for
your titles. I think it's a terrific system.
I wanted to thank everyone who made suggestions when I was trying to track
down a publisher by using their ISBN number. Many people who contacted me
directly asked me to report back if I had any success.
Yes, thanks to several members on the list I was able to locate my book. But
it didn't turn out as I expected. I had hoped that there was an online source
where you could go to get book information. The most common site suggested
was Amazon. Alas, it only works if they carry the book. In this case it was
a small publisher who does not distribute through them. The obvious choice
was RR Bowker (they assign the ISBN numbers). They have pages and pages of all
the products they offer. Alas, they ain't givin' none of it away for free.
The Library of Congress was a good suggestion, but every search came back
uncompleted. Maybe you will have better success. My local library only had
"Books In Print" up to 1996. My book was published in 1997. In the end,
several kind people on the list with access to the ISBN directory looked up
the number for me. Thank you all very much!