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There are plenty of ways to check an ISBN number for validation. Several ISBN Checker tools exist online that can help you validate an ISBN. Just having a valid ISBN doesn’t mean it’s available for publishing. You have to obtain an ISBN from an ISBN agency, then assign the ISBN to a book format to publish your book as a book publisher.

The first method and must easiest way to validate an ISBN is using check digit.

The second method is to identify the country origin of the ISBN then look into their ISBN agency website. Below are both methods with example:

Using the Check Digit to Validate ISBN

In a 13-digit ISBN number, the first 3 digits represent the ISBN prefix, which can be either 978 or 979. 

Additionally, the last digit is the check digit, ranging from 0 to 9. The purpose of the check digit is to validate the ISBN number. 

There is a calculation you can use to validate the entire ISBN code by yourself. You can learn how to validate ISBN number using our complete guide on validating ISBN-10 and ISBN-13.

ISBN Validation, Check ISBN for Real authentic ISBN

ISBN Checker Tools:

There are no official ISBN validator tools. The above-mentioned tools are developed by individual programmers or private firms. Some tools don’t work with ISBN with prefix 979. You may be left to do calculations by yourself.

You can try using the ISBN to publish your book. If the publishing platform accepts the ISBN, then it’s valid. The Publishing platform validates the ISBN using ISBN check digit and ISBN database.

Searching the ISBN Agency Database

First, you need to know where the ISBN was obtained from. You can look into the ISBN country group to find the origin of the country where the ISBN was issued. ISBN country group digit are after the ISBN prefix. Please remember, ISBN are issued locally but used globally.

Once you know the ISBN origin country, then visit their ISBN agency website. It is possible that a searchable ISBN database has been developed by the ISBN agency, but it is not guaranteed. You can find the record of the ISBN and book publishers on the ISBN agency website.


The website of the ISBN agency based in the United States, Bowker, offers a feature that allows users to search for publisher information by using their ISBN. This method will only work if your ISBN is obtained from the US-based ISBN agency. At this movement, this method doesn’t work with ISBN with prefix 979.

The majority of ISBN agencies have a publicly accessible ISBN database. You can search their database using ISBN, publisher name, author name and even book title.

Go to and enter the 13 digit ISBN number and click on Find me. This doesn’t require you to create an account.

Bowker ISBN Checker Find My Publisher Lookup

If your ISBN is from Bowker and is valid, you will get a result with the publisher information. See below.

Bowker ISBN Checker Find My Publisher Lookup

If the ISBN you want to validate has been already used for book publishing, then searching on Google will help you. There are tools such as that can help you find information about a book using its ISBN. These ISBN database tools only work when an ISBN is already in use with a publication.



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