Frequently Asked Questions


Must a publication have an ISBN to be considered a book?
No. The ISBN is only an identification number that makes publication management easier

Must an ISBN have hyphens between the numbers?
No. An ISBN may have a hyphen or a space between the five parts: prefix- group/country identifier-publisher identifier-title identifier-check digit.

If I am going to publish a book plus a CD, how many ISBNs do I need?
If the contents are identical but are published in both printed and CD form, the items must have two different ISBNs.  It is also a good idea to display the ISBN for all editions, e.g.:
ISBN 978-91-88877-68-0 (Printed)
ISBN 978-91-88877-69-7 (CD)
If the book and the CD are issued as a package, the package may also have an ISBN.

Can I use an old ISBN?
The number can still be used as long as it was not previously allocated to a book. 10-digit ISBNs must be converted.

Can the same number be used if the publisher changes its name?
Yes, you can use the same publisher identifier. Contact us and notify us of the name change.

Why can’t I get the same publisher number when I apply for a new series?
The ISBN system consists of several different number suites that cannot be expanded. Nor can we reserve the subsequent number suite in advance.

I have changed the cover of my book for the reprint. Should it have the same ISBN?
It is up to the publisher to decide whether the book should have a new ISBN.

If a book changes publishers and is reissued, does it need a new ISBN?
Yes. The ISBN is not only an identifier for the book itself, but also for the publisher.

If a single book has more than one publisher, can it have more than one ISBN?
Yes. If three publishers co-publish a book and all publishers are named as publishers in the book, they may display their respective ISBNs one after the other.

How do you process an application when the publisher has given a non-public address and does not want the information published online?
ISBN Sweden is required to disclose information from the ISBN database under Swedish laws on public access to information (freedom of information). This means that a publisher with a non-public address cannot be allocated an ISBN, because all the information is published online.

I lost my ISBN list. What should I do?
You can get a copy of the list, but you have to know which numbers have been used so that you do not use them again.

I need a publisher’s address. Where can I find it?
You can search for Swedish publishers in the Swedish ISBN register. We can also answer address inquiries regarding foreign publishers.

I have a book that is going to be distributed in Sweden and abroad. What rules apply?
The publication address must be in Sweden to be allocated a Swedish ISBN. If you have a foreign publication address, you should apply for an ISBN in that country, even if the book is intended for Swedish distribution. The addresses of all ISBN agencies are available from the International ISBN Agency.

Last updated: 2017-10-17
Contact person: Jamshid Farahani, e-mail:
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