What is ISBN and why is it important for my book?

Book publisher or author, reader or distributor? You would be interested in the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), a recommended requirement for your international listing. Trust us at Purushottam Publishers, for each and every one of our books has an ISBN when it is required. Essentially, this 13 digit number identifies the country that your book is from, the number allotted to the publisher, and the book itself.

Why is the ISBN so important? The thirteen digits of the ISBN provide an International Publisher’s Identifier machine readable number. It uniquely identifies any book in order to run electronic point of sale system in bookshops, including for online sales. That means the ISBN is essential for the book trade ˗ not only for authors, publishers and editors, but also for printers, booksellers and distributors.

Do you have that gut feel about being an author and are looking for a publisher? Else, you could be that special person young or old, looking for a real book in real time. Time to consult with us at Purushottam Publishers. We are a Kolkata-based publishing and book distribution house. Our major speciality is as School Textbooks Publishers. If ICSE or CBSE School Textbooks with a recognised ISBN through a recognised publisher is what you would like to write or look for to buy, Purushottam is the place to go to.  

But Just a second. That is not all that Purushottam publishes. Well-known and award winning authors of academic papers, children’s book writers and even writers of popular fiction and classical entertainment have also used our publishing platform. None had to ask separately; the ISBN was assured once they contacted Purushottam Publishers.

Purushottam’s textbooks and reference materials for junior and senior school students are hugely popular not only among those who recommend them for students – teachers and parents, but the pupils themselves. Pupils, as we know, categorise themselves widely – the studious and good, the quick readers and preparers, and everyone in-between. If you are a school student, ask yourself where you stand. You would rank among those aiming to get ready for State Boards. Where would our multitudes go to get through these all-important end-of-school examinations?

Purushottam students do know a thing or two. Authors too – You would have the world at your feet with that ISBN. A book can be sold through a bookshop or through online retailers like Amazon.com and Flipkart as we at Purushottam do. The best of libraries are bound to stock a book with an identifiable ISBN. Libraries do, for Purushottam Publishers.

How to get and use an ISBN Number?

Thumbs up for all thirteen digits of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and thumbs up for Purushottam Publishers which ensure the ISBN for authors and readers alike. Remember that while an ISBN is not required to publish a book, it will always be recommended at Purushottam as it helps to comply with the book publishing and distribution process.

How do authors and publishers obtain that all-important ISBN? The method is easy and not chargeable. A Central Government agency in India takes care to allot ISBNs to publishers. It is one ISBN for each book. Best of all, it can be obtained easily at any time.


The all-important ISBN allottee of ISBN is the Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency in New Delhi. Allotment of ISBN became necessary when data showed that India is the sixth largest book producing country and ranks third in the production of the books in English after the USA and UK.

Now, about how to go about getting that ISBN. There is just one single window in India. The ISBN application form on the net is available from http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/upload_document/ISBN_instruction_and_application_form.pdf

If you are not exactly a computer whiz kid, help is at hand. A hard copy of the form can be collected from Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency, Parliament Street, 4th Floor Jeevan Deep Building, New Delhi 110001. You could go there or write to them. When you write back, attach a copy of ID proof of yourself if you are the applicant or a copy of the bank statement of the organization. Remember to submit the application with attachment along with a self addressed envelope stamped for the right value so that the agency can post their acceptance back to you.

The response comes within two months. Successful allotees receive 10 ISBN Numbers with the first application. Fill the log sent by the agency, register the allotted number in the book iwhen it is printed and post it back to the agency. You could choose another one of the allotted ISBNs for the ebook version in order to avoid anomaly.

When a book is published, the agency includes the allotted ISBN in its progress report to the  Publishers International ISBN Directory. Viola! Your book ISBN is there for anyone to view, identify and select.

ISBN: Some common questions answered

Secrets of Book Promotion and Marketing

To begin with the basics of book promotion and marketing, a few golden rules remain. Presuming the author and editor are most comfortable with each other, consider first the content itself. A publisher helps with content in tidying up, editing intelligently and getting the book out.

To reach as many as possible, visit as many bookstores as possible. Authors and publishers can promote their books on a person-to-bookshop basis. This is where a book-fair is invaluable. Book launches, too. When you speak, stick to a few main points as to why people should buy the book. Most of all, be consistent in enthusiasm. Selling a book is harder than it looks. Look out for becoming frustrated and giving up. But don’t.

Content and design do matter. It makes would-be readers look at the book. To be marketed successfully, a book has to be a professional product. That means the author and publisher also hasve to think about who is going to buy and read the book and how to reach them.  Select your media.

When it comes to book promotion, get as many involved as possible – friends and relatives, colleagues and persons you employ. This is where facebook and twitter come in. More and more promos get noticed through the social media. Go out to blog, in the same way that you are reading this blog.

To put our ‘how to’s” mentioned here in a nutshell, remember :