ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number, a unique code that can be assigned to a book.
While an ISBN is not required to publish a book, it is a good idea to get one for your book, specially if you want to sell it through standard book distribution channel. For selling it only through, you do not need to have an ISBN.

ISBNs are allotted to publishers. Earlier ISBNs were allotted only in blocks. But the good news for self-publishers is that now individual ISBNs can be allotted to the self-publishers too.
What more - Getting an ISBN in India is free. You need to send an application to Raja Rammohan Roy National Agency for ISBN. The following details should be included in the application:
Regular publisher looking for a block of ISBN? Go directly to agency's website for details.

Title of Book:
Publisher: Self-Published
Year of Publication:
Place of Publication:
Paperback or Hardback:
Your address for communication
You also need to enclose the following:
Photocopy of the cover page
Identification Proof
A self addressed envelop for return communication

Important Points:
Price: It is better if you put your price higher than that on (a mark-up of 40-60%). The reason being that when sold through other channels, the prices would usually have to be high to accommodate the margins for intermediaries.
Hardback/Paperback: If a book is published in hardback as well as paperback, two different ISBNs need to be taken for the same. So, be clear about which version you want the ISBN for.
The application should be sent to the following (updated) address:

Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency for ISBN
West Block-I, Wing-6, 2nd Floor,
Sector -I, R.K. Puram,
New Delhi-110066
Phone: +91-11-26172903/26172916

Before you start using ISBN, please check out all the relevant information here.
Please note that we have tried to provide the information as accurately as possible. However, we do not take responsibility of any omissions or mistakes that might have come in. This article is provided for informational purposes only. For any legal issues, please consult a qualified professional.

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