ISBN-13 Just Two Months Away

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On January 1, 2007, every retailer's Point-of-Sale (POS) system will need to accommodate 13-digit International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN), the unique identifiers assigned to every published book and book-like product. Because this change is so far-reaching -- it will affect everything from publishers' catalogs, price sheets, and invoices to booksellers' ability to place and receive orders -- the Book Industry Study Group's ISBN-13 Task Force has created a comprehensive web resource,, with relevant sections for different segments of the industry, including retailers and publishers.

In addition, to help members prepare for the transition, the American Booksellers Association recently sent an e-mail to bookstores that included links to valuable resources and information about some of the issues that booksellers should discuss with their POS vendors to ensure they will be able to place and receive orders without interruption. This information has also been gathered on ABA's trade website,

ABA members can also address questions or concerns about ISBN-13 to David Walker, the association's representative on the ISBN-13 Task Force, at or (800) 637-0037, ext. 6612.