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Books ISBN Requirements - FAQs

Beginning in February 2012, ISBNs or EANs (ISBN-13s) will be required when uploading listings for books published in 1973 or later. Books with publication dates in 1972 or earlier will be exempt from the ISBN requirement. To list books published in 1973 or later that do not have an ISBN, sellers will need to request an exemption.

Why is Amazon making this change?

To improve the matching of seller offers to the Amazon catalog, which reduces the number of duplicate detail pages. When we reduce the number duplicate detail pages in the catalog, customers will be more likely to find, and buy, the item they are seeking.

Which seller tools will require ISBNs?

The ISBN requirement (and exemptions) will impact sellers using Amazon's Book Loader, and includes both Standard Book Loader and UIEE files.

To add ISBN/EAN data to Book Loader files:

  • If you use the Standard Book Format, enter your ISBN/EAN in the "product-id" field.
  • If you use UIEE files, enter your ISBN/EAN in the "NT" field in the first 200 characters.

What if I don't have an ISBN?

Sellers creating an offer for a book published in 1972 or earlier are not required to include a product-id in their inventory file. To create an offer for a book published after 1973 without an ISBN/EAN, the seller can request an exemption, which will allow the seller to list the item without an ISBN.

Do I have to get an exemption for every book I want to list that doesn't have an ISBN?

No, the exemption will be provided for your seller account, not on a per-item level. When your account has been approved for the exemption, you will be able to list any post-1973 book that doesn't not have an ISBN, ensuring that you include the book's title, author, pub-date, binding and publisher so that we can appropriately match your book to our catalog.

If you list books that already exists in the Amazon.com Books catalog, no exemption is required, you need to add them as a contribution to the existing listing on Amazon.com. If your books are new selection and is not available in the Amazon.com Books catalog then submit an ISBN exemption request using the form: Books ISBN Requirements and Exemptions. Provide the following information in the justification field so we can process your exemption request. Please provide a complete list of books if you have less than 50 books that need ISBN exemption. If you have more than 50 books then provide us with the number of books you plan to sell, and a sample set of 50 books along with the details mentioned below for our review.

  1. Title, Author, Edition, Publisher, Publishing Year and Binding for each book
  2. SKU IDs that is associated with each book

We issue an ISBN exemption within a defined timeframe depending on the number of SKU’s.

How do I get an exemption to list a book published after 1973 without an ISBN?

Visit this Help page for more information and a link to the request form: Books ISBN Requirements and Exemptions

Can I put include both post-1973 titles and pre-1972 titles in the same Book Loader submission?

Yes. You can do this with Standard Book Loader files and UIEE files.

Will this change impact my current listings?

No. Updates to your current listings are based on your seller SKU, not on the product-id.

What if I have more questions?

Please contact us by clicking "Contact Seller Support" from any seller Help page.

Seller Support

Please use the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com Seller account.