Difference Between ISBN-10 and ISBN-13

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What is the difference
between ISBN-10 and ISBN-13?

Should you use ISBN-10 when publishing a new book?

Frequently asked questions concerning the difference between ISBN-10 and ISBN-13

difference between isbn-10 and isbn-13

The difference between ISBN-10 and ISBN-13

First it is important to note that ISBN-13 is the newer format.

ISBN-13 has been in worldwide use since 2011.

And ISBN-10 is the older format.

If you have to choose...

ISBN-13 is the current standard that should be used for new books today.

Can ISBN-10 still be used today?

Yes, ISBN-10 can still be used. Just be aware it is an older format and not typically used today.

ISBN-10 to ISBN-13 Converter

Use our online ISBN Converter to convert any ISBN-10 to an ISBN-13 number

Example of ISBN-10 and ISBN-13

An ISBN-10 is a 10-digit ISBN number, like: 0297609378

An ISBN-13 is a 13 digit ISBN number, like: 9780297609377

What difference between ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 can you see in the example?

As you can see, the only difference between the ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 is the prefix 978 has been added to the beginning of the ISBN-13

The last 10 digits of both the ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 in the example are exactly the same.

Note: this is not always the case, so please don't just add 978 to the beginning of an ISBN-10 and consider it the same as an ISBN-13.

ISBN barcode

Example of an ISBN-13 barcode. ISBN-13 is the current format that should be used today. Note there are 13 digits in the ISBN-13 while there are only 10 digits in the ISBN-10


example of ISBN 13 barcode

How To Convert An ISBN-10 to ISBN-13

First I'll tell you how not to do it.

What you shouldn't do is simply add the prefix 978 to the beginning of the ISBN-10 and assume that will be the same as the ISBN-13.

Here's why: sometimes an ISBN-10 can end with a letter like this: 0-9752298-0-X

And there are no letters in an ISBN-13. Whaaaaa???

So this is why you can't just add 978 to the beginning of an ISBN-10 and expect that it will always be correct.

Online ISBN-13 to ISBN-10 Converter

Here's a better way to convert an ISBN-10 to ISBN-13.

Just use our free ISBN Converter.

Our free online tool will convert any ISBN-10 to an ISBN-13 number to make sure you get the ISBN number exactly right.

How to Add Hyphens to an ISBN-13

We've developed an online tool in case your ISBN-13 is missing hyphens or dashes in the correct position.

Use our ISBN Hyphenator to add hyphens in the correct position to any ISBN-13 number

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