Swedish ISBN Agency 

The International Standard Book Number – ISBN – is a free, unique identifier for monographic publications and maps published for general distribution. The number also makes use of GS1 bar codes possible.

About Swedish ISBN Agency

The Swedish ISBN Agency assigns identifiers to publishing houses and other publishing entities. The ISBN makes it easier to relocate materials when you search for, order, and distribute books. We manage ISBN – an identifier for publications of a monographic nature (books), and ISMN – an identifier for printed music.

ISBN and ISMN are voluntary, and confer no copyright or other legal protection, nor do they provide name protection. Protecting a company name requires registration with the Swedish Companies Registration Office External link..


ISBNs can be used for audiobooks (regardless of format and carrier), if the contents are comparable to the contents of a book. ISBN can also be used for online publications if the documents are monographic and of a relatively permanent nature.

Various product versions of a single publication require a separate ISBN, e.g., a hardcover book, paperback, audio book, and e-book. It should not be used for printed music, newspapers, serials, offprints, price lists, manuals, almanacs, forms, theater, exhibition programs etc.

Please note that applicants for an ISBN (in Sweden) must have a Swedish publication adress.

Location and Display

The ISBN must appear on the pages of the book, preferably the verso of the title page. If there is no space on the title verso it may appear on the foot of the title page, and if possible on the outside (foot of the back of the jacket and/or the lower section of the outside back cover). The letters ISBN must precede the digits.

It is also possible to search the Swedish ISBN register External link. to see which names have already been registered by the Swedish ISBN Agency.

Definition of Suppliers of Legal Deposit

  • The supplier who printed or otherwise duplicated the publication
  • The supplier who ordered printing or pressing of the publication abroad
  • The supplier who publishes electronic documents on CD-ROM or other portable storage media
  • The supplier who publishes "combined material", meaning a printed publication plus a videogram, audiocassette, or comparable, in which case the entire material must be deposited at the same time
  • The supplier who distributes a publication produced abroad in Sweden, in which case the publication must have a Swedish connection and be imported in a significant number of copies.
More information

Phone: +4610 709 30 90
(Tuesday and Thursday 10–11)

E-mail: isbn@kb.se

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