The Bookland EAN barcode

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Barcodes are used by major retailers and libraries as means to scan and process your book.  The Bookland EAN symbol is the most widely used barcode.  This symbol not only encodes the ISBN number but the price as well.  EAN stands for European Article Number.

 Barcodes are printed on the bottom right hand corner of the back side of the book.  The ISBN is printed above the bar code.  This is standard practice in the book publishing industry.  Any changes to price after the barcode is issued will require a new barcode.

It is important to note that a Bookland EAN barcode is different from a store’s Universal Product Code (UPC code).  These codes are used by retail outlets that sell products other than books.  Generally, only mass market paperbacks will have both a Bookland EAN barcode and an UPC code printed on the back cover. 

Barcodes can be purchased from R.R. Bowker’s website along with your ISBN code.  This website has a wealth of information in regards to barcode sizing and advice on how to adhere your barcode to your book depending on its type (i.e. cloth books). 

 1)            Go to the R.R. Bowker website at

2)            Go to the tab on the top of the website that says “Identifier Services”.  Select Barcode Services.

3)            This will take you to the Bowker Barcode Service site.  There will be four pages of information to fill out.

4)            Select the amount of barcodes you wish to purchase.  The pricing structure for bar codes is 1-5 barcodes ($25 per barcode), 6-10 barcodes ($23 per barcode), and 11-20 barcodes ($21 per barcode).


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