ISBN Bookland EAN Barcode

In the United States, most retail products are marked with a UPC barcode symbol. The corresponding barcode symbol in use in every other country aside from the United States is the European Article Number (EAN). Unlike other retail products, the ISBN is the identifier used for books. Every EAN begins with a 2 or 3 digit prefix, which indicates the country of origin. EANs for companies registered in France, for example, might begin with the prefix 34; Japan’s prefix is 49. Since the book industry produces so many products, it has been designated as a country unto itself and has been assigned its own EAN prefix. That prefix is 978 and it signifies Bookland, that wonderful, fictitious country from where all books come.


An EAN which begins with the Bookland prefix 978 is called a Bookland EAN code and is used on books and book related products internationally. The Bookland symbol is the barcode of choice in the book industry because it allows for encodation of ISBNs (the numbers publishers use to identify their products). Since an ISBN is unique to one particular title (or product), the corresponding Bookland EAN symbol is a title-specific marking which is unique for that title. For example, if a title is available in hardcover, softcover and as an e-book, three unique ISBN Bookland EAN barcodes are required.

The ISBN Bookland EAN Barcode also conveys US pricing information in the add-on barcode symbol.  The 5-digit barcode conveys the pricing information and follows establish rules for encodation.  For prices below $99.00, a 5 is added to the right followed by the four-digit price (no decimal point).  Many US retailers and states also require a printed price to also be included.

Publisher Services is a division of Bar Code Graphics which services the book industry. As an authorized agent of the US ISBN Agency, Publisher Services provides ISBN and barcodes to new self-publishers. Please visit

News & Updates

Brands We Work With

  • Amazon bar code