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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Experiment, Part One: Acquiring a Barcode

My initial phase of research (Called asking my friend Tom, who is, I am sometimes convinced, the physical embodiment of Google, much the same way as Locutus was the physical embodiment of the Borg) into getting a UPC code for my novel, The Artifact yielded rather disappointing results. Tom has, for his own business, contacted Eric at and was quoted what I have to agree are very reasonable prices. If you intend on buying one or more bar codes for whatever product your small business intends on selling, I recommend them.

However, the prices quoted (I refuse to offer too much free advertizing for a company I'm not doing business with, but you can get a single bar code for less than $120.00) were out of MY particular price range, which is to say, I wanted it for FREE.

I figure that considering the National Archives of Canada provided me with a free ISBN number, why shouldn't I get a free UPC code, as well?

So I did some research, and I discovered that through Archives Canada, I can get an International Standard Serial Number for The Artifact, apparently for as little (nothing) as I paid for the ISBN!

While this is good news for me and for my fellow Canadians, I realize that this might not be of any value to my US or UK readers.

GS1 (Formerly the Uniform Code Council) handles the issuing of UPC codes in the United States.

In the UK, there are apparently different agencies that will issue UPC codes for your book. Actually, for the United Kingdom you can find several resources from the Book Industry Communication website.

All of the above links, by the way, can be found in my links section. If they aren't there yet, it's probably because I'm in the process of updating the page. My God, you got here fast! Keep hitting your browser's "refresh" button until the links appear.

Anyway, getting an ISBN and an ISSN is only PART of the battle. I STILL need a bar-code to be able to affix to the back of the book!

Well, that's when my searches led me to Barcodes For Books, an article on PublishingCentral tells me how I can get a Bookland Ean barcode (Although the link is to a pretty sloppy looking website it is legit) once I have the aforementioned ISBN and ISSN.

So, assuming that my ISSN application is approved as quickly as my ISBN application was, I will soon be moving onto the next phase of my operation, finding a Print On Demand publisher. Again, Tom has provided me with a good lead, which I will be soon investigating.