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Do I need an ISBN?

We've all seen them - ISBNs prepare your book prints for online and offline markets. And they play a more important role than you think.



An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is essential for those planning to sell their books. Don't confuse this with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), the ISBN equivalent for serialized publications like Magazines.

ISBNs can be expensive, and it may be tempting to cut this feature from your budget. ISBNs aren't necessary for upfront sales, direct website sales, or distribution to crowdfunding backers. Some choose to sell their publication in a bookshop, while others prefer taking their publication online with distributors like Amazon. You must have an ISBN for every version of your printed material, regardless of whether you print a HardcoverPaperback or an updated edition.

IMPORTANT: Mixam does not currently sell ISBNs. The original buyer is always the owner, meaning a resold ISBN can never be re-published under your name. 


ISBN and barcode on a printed booklet


When you've secured an ISBN, you need to generate a barcode, which you can create online for free.

Traditionally, many choose to print barcodes on the back of their publication. But you can place it anywhere you like, so don't forget to include it before uploading your files to your Artwork Dashboard.

You must ensure the barcode image has a 300dpi resolution. This setting is the standard image quality for a high-resolution print and means a printer will produce 300 tiny dots for every square inch of your image, so your barcode is scannable.




ISBN and barcode on a comic book