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What are Barcodes and why do you need them?

This sample Barcode shows the ISBN in EAN barcode form and in eye readable font above the code.

This version provides all the information required by UK bookshops and retailers and is generally recommended for use in the UK and Global book trade.

All our Barcodes are black bars on a white background.

The Barcode on a book is created from that book’s 13 digit ISBN, guaranteeing that each book has a unique Barcode.

Some printers require that you supply the Barcode image which is to appear on the back of your book. The Nielsen Barcode service will generate a Barcode image for each ISBN13 that you upload below and email these to you as a single file in your chosen format.

The Barcodes generated by the Nielsen Barcode service are in a standard width of 500px (including surrounded white space). Height is dynamic to the page and the number of ISBNs in the file and at 100% magnification. The Barcode image will need to be resized for purpose using an image editing application. Alternatively, your printer should be able to assist you.

Please check which format your printer requires before you place your order as we cannot change the format once generated.

To use the Nielsen barcode service:

  • Your ISBN or ISBN prefix must have been allocated by the UK & Ireland ISBN Agency
  • The barcode service only converts ISBNs that were allocated as a single ISBN number or from a block of 10 ISBN numbers 

You can buy up to ten Barcodes at one time.  Please enter the ISBN carefully, and ensure the ISBN you enter is a valid number.  If your ISBN is incorrect, the barcode cannot be generated. 

The EPS format file (Encapsulated Postscript) requires software such as CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator or a similar package to open the barcode file. Please check you have the relevant software to open the file before purchase. Note: the Nielsen EPS file has been created as an image and then converted to the EPS format and is not a vector file.


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More about ISBN Barcodes

All major bookshops and retailers use Barcodes to manage their inventory at point of sale, which enables them to maximise sales and collect the information they need about the products they are selling. Barcodes are also used in the distribution process to ensure accurate delivery to retailers. To enable full use of electronic point of sale (EPOS) equipment, it is essential for publishers to follow the required trade standards for the use of Barcodes on books.

Link to Barcode FAQs

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