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When will my book appear in the ISBN Database?

Searching for Book Information in ISBN Database

Written by Araix Rand

Araix Rand is the Founder of Bookllo Publishing, an author, blogger, and photographer. Since 2019, he has been helping authors in self-publishing and marketing their books. Additionally, he writes for various business and marketing blogs.

Categories: Self Publishing Question

Published on: 3 May, 2024

Please understand that there is no centralized or global ISBN database. There is a centralized book publisher database called the “Global Register of Publishers” maintained by the ISBN International Organization. The Global Register of Publishers doesn’t include information about books and their ISBNs.

data from national ISBN agencies from all over the world

Searching ISBN Database

If you want to check your book information in an ISBN database, then you have to look into multiple ISBN databases. Mainly, there are two types of ISBN databases:

1. ISBN Database developed by a private company: These ISBN databases are created based on books published on popular retailer websites such as Amazon.

You won’t find information about an ISBN in these databases until that ISBN is used for publishing a book. Some ISBN database websites that allow visitors to search for ISBNs rely solely on the Amazon book database. That means you won’t find information about your book until it is available on Amazon. ISBN Database
An screenshot of web page:

A privately (or exclusively) published book or a book that is published offline won’t appear on these types of databases.

2. The ISBN Database developed by an ISBN agency: Each country have one ISBN agency appointed by ISBN International Organization that is responsible for issuing ISBNs to book publishers in that country only.

The ISBN agencies maintain a database of ISBNs that they have issued, information about the book and its publisher.

If you want to find information about a ISBN and its book, then first you will have to find out which ISBN agency issued the ISBN. Then visit their official website to find the ISBN database. Moreover, remember that not all ISBN agencies keep their ISBN database publicly available.

Furthermore, it depends on the agency to collect information about the book at the time of assigning the ISBN. Some agencies only collect very little information about the book, such as the title, format, and author name.

On the other hand, some agencies collect everything about the book, as it is a book listing. For example, the ISBN agency in the USA collects lots of information about the book, including the author’s bio, book size, etc.

It depends on the ISBN agency what information you will find about a book in their database.


Make sure your book is distributed widely to get it listed on multiple retailer websites and local stores. This also increases the chance of your book getting into multiple privately owned ISBN database and gaining visibility.

If your book is not published, and you want to verify the legitimacy of your book’s ISBN, then you will have to look into the ISBN agency database.

For example:

ISBNs obtained from the US ISBN agency get listed on the ISBN database called Bookwire. Bookwire is maintained by the US-based ISBN agency Bowker. Once an ISBN is assigned to a book, a book listing is created on the website. If you don’t find your book listing on the Bookwire website, then try searching for your author name on the Google Books website. Getting book information indexed in the Google Books database can take time. Please be patient.

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