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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New: ISBNiser Utility

As I read and review lots of books, I frequently need to deal with International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) which, like many international standards, come in a rainbow of flavours, all confusing and some distasteful. There are old ISBN-10s, new ISBN-13s, the curious way in which ISBN-13s were integrated into EANs, “Bookland”, and its two islands, 978 legacy, which maps into ISBN-10, and 979, sparsely populated, which doesn't.

Of course, these important numbers, which have been central to commerce in books since the 1970s and to Internet booksellers today, contain a check digit to guard against transcription and transposition errors and, naturally, the two flavours, ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 use entirely different algorithms to compute it, with the former working in base eleven, which even those of us who endured “new math” in the 1960s managed to evade.

I've just published ISBNiser, a cleaned-up version of a program I've been using in house since 2008 to cope with all of this. It validates ISBNs in both the 10- and 13-digit formats, interconverts between them, and generates links to purchase the book cited at Amazon, on any Amazon national site, and optionally credits the purchase to your Amazon Associates account or an alternative account you can specify when configuring the program. You can specify ISBNs with or without delimiters among the digits, and with any (non-alphanumeric) delimiter you wish. If you're faced with an all-numeric ISBN as is becoming more common as publishers move down-market, you can put the hyphens back with the U.S. Library of Congress ISBN Converter, which will give you an ISBN-10 you can convert back to ISBN-13 with ISBNiser.

ISBNiser Home Page

Posted at October 10, 2017 23:09