ISBN Number Registration, Fees, and Online Application



If you’re a book publisher, you might be aware of how you need to display the ISBN number on all the books you’ve published. A unique, 13-digit number that helps identify the publisher and the publications’ title, it is a permanent identification and doesn’t require you to renew your ISBN registration. 

Having an ISBN number allows customers to easily identify a book when purchasing online. Alternatively, it also helps retailers, distributors and publishers track sales and predict stock demand. 

This is especially important if you’re self-publishing a book. 

You can easily complete your registration on the ‘Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency’ website.

This article dives deep into everything you need to get your ISBN number.

ISBN Number Full Form 

ISBN is the acronym for International Standard Book Number. Made up of 13 digits, it initially had just 10 numbers, which were increased to 13 after 2006. 

Books which are usually put on for sale or distribution carry this number for easy identification. 

What are the main components of ISBN number? 

Your ISBN number usually has a well-defined structure that helps you standardise how to identify it. Each segment is separated using spaces and hyphens. 

Given below are 5 main components of an ISBN number:

  • Prefix element– These are the first 3 digits of your unique ISBN number. It usually starts with either 978 or 979, making an ISBN into a universal product code called EAN.
  • Registration group element – This is the second section of your ISBN number and refers to the geographical area or country of a book.  It includes numbers between 1 to 5.
  • Registrant element – This component helps in identifying the publisher’s name. It is usually up to 7 digits.
  • Publication element – This is the fourth component of your ISBN number related to a specific publication by a registrant within a given registration group.
  • Check digit – This is the last part of your ISBN and is used for validating other digits in the code.

How To Get an ISBN Number In India?

There are few important steps you need to follow in order to complete your ISBN registration. 

Given below,  is a detailed roadmap to help you apply for your ISBN number.

Step 1: Go to the national ISBN agency’s website at 

Step 2: Now, click on ‘New Applicant Registration’.

Step 3: Choose your applicant type by entering your original email ID. Once done, click on the ‘Submit’ button to proceed.

Step 4: You will receive an auto generated password and username on your email. Here, click on ‘Applicant login’. You shall then be redirected to the applicant portal.

Step 5: Once logged in, you need to change your password. You will then be redirected to the homepage.

Now, click on ‘Apply for New Application’.

Step 6: Fill out the application form before uploading the required documents. 

Please ensure that the documents are either in the JPEG or PDF format (maximum size: 100 kb) only. 

Step 7: Once you’re done, click the ‘Save’ button to finish.  You can now see the status of your application. After saving your application form, submit the documents to the agency by clicking the ‘Submit to Agency’ option.

Step 8: Wait for further approval and issuance of your ISBN number by the authorities. You’ll be notified about it accordingly and in case any clarification is required, it will show up under the ‘Application Status’ column. 

Step 9: The status of your application will be available on your account dashboard. It is after this that you will be allotted your ISBN number. 

The agency however, would still need to issue the ISBN code against your application to proceed further in the ISBN registration process.  

Step 10: After you’re issued the ISBN series, the status of your application will change to ‘Allotted(Please fill Book Details)’. 

Step 11: In the next step of your ISBN registration, you need to fill your book details by clicking the ‘New Book Details’ button. 

You can also upload details for a single book or an entire collection via the bulk upload option. 

Step 12: Once you’re done, submit your details to the issuing agency.

Step 13: You’ll be required to wait for your ISBN number. One can track its status under the ‘New Book Details’ link.

Point to Remember: In case you’ve already applied for your ISBN number online, you can re-apply only after you’ve used 90% of your pre-allotted numbers. 

Benefits of Online ISBN Registration

There are various benefits that you can avail when completing your ISBN registration online. Some of them have been mentioned below in detail:

  1. The online portal streamlines the registration process, saving you hours of manual work.
  2. It offers great flexibility and transparency. Applicants can easily keep track of their applications via the portal.
  3. You can search for bibliographic data with ease.
  4. Books that have an ISBN number allotted to them by the national allotment agency are recognised globally.

ISBN Registration Fees

ISBN registration in India is available 100% FREE of cost. 

You don’t need to pay anything in order to get your ISBN number as a publisher.    


Having an ISBN number offers various perks to publishers. An important component of tracking book sales and demand forecasting, it is available 100% free in India. It usually takes 20 to 50 days to receive your ISBN number. The national agency for ISBN allotment doesn’t charge any fee for the same.

It is important that you fill out your details correctly and double-check the information before submission. 

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