Does My Book Need a Barcode?

It’s been over 20 years since President George Bush emerged from a supermarket trade show amazed by barcode technology. Although new at the time, barcodes are so commonplace now that everything has them – including self-published books! They are easy to get, and a requirement for bookstore sales. Your barcode can be obtained from Bowker ( where you probably bought your ISBN number, and the cost is just $25. You merely give them your ISBN number and they create the code for you and that is given to your cover designer. (And by the way, if you don’t have a designer, I highly recommend Megan Evans – *protected email* for cover design.)


  • If you already have your ISBN from, and you are working with a cover designer (or will engage one) … DON’T go to Bowker and purchase your bar code with the ISBN in it YET.

    Most cover designers today include the creation of your bar code as part of the cover design and don’t charge extra for it.

    Judith BrilesApril 7, 2014
  • Thanks, Judith. Good advise. And Judith Briles is Master of the Book Business. Take a look at her Book Shepherd website And if you haven’t signed up for the AuthorU Extravaganza May 1-3 hurry over to for the fun and info packed event. And all the other great AuthorU programs. Anne

    Anne RandolphApril 12, 2014

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