Please note there will be a delay to any applications sent by post due to remote working as a result of COVID-19.

The first thing you need to do when you publish your title is to allocate it an ISBN. The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique product identifier for books and related material. It is the most important number you will need and aids the listing, discovery and distribution of your books.


While it is not a legal requirement to allocate ISBNs to your books, it is used by publishers, booksellers and libraries for ordering, listing and stock control purposes. The systems they use all rely on the ISBN to identify books ensuring they select and stock the correct title and edition, from the right publisher.


The Nielsen ISBN Agency for UK & Ireland is here to help and support you in the process of purchasing and allocating your ISBNs to your books. The quickest and simplest way to buy your ISBNs is via our ISBN Store: www.nielsenisbnstore.com but if you have any queries, please contact us: isbn.agency@nielseniq.com 

For more information please read our FAQs


When you first purchase your ISBN(s) from the Nielsen ISBN Store you will be asked to register. Please keep your username and password safe for the next time you need to make a purchase.

If you would prefer to purchase your ISBNs using our application form you can download it here: ISBN Application Form

Where possible please send your application form electronically to: isbn.agency@nielseniq.com

Please note there will be a delay to any applications sent by post due to remote working as a result of COVID-19. Please do NOT send any cheques in the post as we’re unable to receive or process them at the moment. We encourage publishers to use our Nielsen ISBN Store to purchase your ISBNs or email the agency. If you are unable to do this, any applications sent through the post will be processed in due course and we will be in touch regarding payment.

ISBN Application Form Notes


Applying via our application form is usually subject to a service level of five working days. Please bear with us during this time as services may be temporarily delayed.



Need a Barcode for your book? The Nielsen Barcode service can create a Barcode from your book’s 13 digit ISBN, guaranteeing that it is unique. You can easily purchase Barcodes via our online Store: here 




Publishers in the UK and Ireland have a legal obligation to send one copy of each of their publications to the British Library Legal Deposit Office within one month of publication. You may also receive an email or letter from The Agent for the Legal Deposit Libraries who is responsible for acquiring legal deposit material for five other legal deposit libraries: The Bodleian Library, Oxford; The University Library, Cambridge; The National Library of Scotland; The Library of Trinity College, Dublin; The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. They don’t request every title, unlike the British Library; however should they ask you are legally obliged to send them five copies.

Nielsen Book UK