General Publishing Questions

What is Copyright & How Do I Get My Work Copyrighted?

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

Copyright protection can be obtained through the U.S. Copyright Office:

What is an ISBN & How Do I Obtain One?

The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique 13-digit number that identifies one title, or edition of a title, from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition.  R.R. Bowker, the official ISBN


Agency for the United States, is responsible for the assignment of the ISBN Publisher Prefix to those publishers with a residence or office in the U.S. The U.S. ISBN Agency cannot assign ISBNs to publishers and self-publishers located outside the United States and its territories.


To order an ISBN, visit the product identifiers page from the RR Bowker web site:

What is CIP?

A CIP, or Cataloging in Publication record, is a bibliographic record prepared by the Library of Congress for a book that has not yet been published. When the book is published, the publisher includes the CIP data on the copyright page thereby facilitating book processing for libraries and book dealers. Click here for more information at:

The Difference Between a Bar Code & ISBN?

A bar code is the graphic with vertical lines that encodes numerical information for scanning purposes. The ISBN is simply a number. The ISBN number generally rides at the bottom of the barcode. You can obtain a barcode from any number of sources including one of our print partners when you go to press.  Another option is to obtain a barcode from RR Bowker at the same time as your ISBN at:

What are Bookland EAN Barcodes?

TThe European Article Number (EAN) is used by virtually every other country while most retail products in the US are marked with a UPC symbol. To provide worldwide standardization in the sale and handling of books, a special EAN prefix of “978” has been assigned exclusively for the book category within the EAN system. An EAN which begins with the 978 prefix is called a Bookland EAN bar code and is used on books and book related products internationally. The 978 prefix precedes the first 9 digits of the ISBN and then a new check digit is calculated in order to form a 13-digit ISBN number which is then encoded to create the bar code symbol used on books.