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Home > Support > ISBN-13 Transition

ISBN-13 Transition

Every New Year brings the anticipation of new opportunity and change. In January 2005, the industry began a two-year transition from ISBN-10 to ISBN-13. On January 1, 2007, the ISBN-13 became the official "ISBN" with the ISBN-10 now being phased out. No doubt this important development has made you wonder how this affects your Bookstore Manager inventory management system.

To better understand this change, let's first review some ISBN-13 facts.

Due to the large number of books being published, the number of available ISBN-10 numbers is shrinking rapidly and expected to be exhausted in the next few years. This created the need to "sunset" the ISBN-10 numbers. As you know, January 1, 2007 is the deadline for companies that handle books and Bibles (publishers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and databases) to fully support ISBN-13.

This change does NOT affect music or gifts which will continue to use UPC's.

An ISBN-10 is actually a nine-digit identifier with the 10th digit being a check digit. An ISBN-10 can be converted to an ISBN-13 by pre-pending "978" to the nine-digit identifier and re-calculating the check digit for the 13th digit. The check digit logic is different for an ISBN-10 and an ISBN-13. An ISBN-10 can end in 0-9 or an X. An ISBN-13's check digit will always be numeric and will almost always be different from the ISBN-10 check digit.

An ISBN-13 item number that starts with a "978" can be converted back to an ISBN-10. An ISBN-13 item number that starts with anything besides "978" CANNOT be converted to an ISBN-10. Those products will not have an ISBN-10 identifier.

Historically most books have had both an ISBN-10 and an ISBN-13 number. The 13-digit "Bookland EAN" barcode number is now officially the ISBN-13.

Since version 6.0, Bookstore Manager has been capable of accepting 13-digit item numbers in the primary inventory item number field. Since the beginning, it has supported up to 17 characters in the inventory secondary item number field. So the issue really revolves around how item numbers are transferred from the Christian Books & More Database to the inventory file. So, let's take a look at how CB&M and Bookstore Manager will deal with the new ISBN-13s.

First, whatever item number has been the historical primary item number will continue to be the primary item number for that product. For most books and Bibles, that is the ISBN-10. The secondary item number for books and Bibles is now the ISBN-13.

We are NOT changing the primary item numbers in the inventory file. There is too much that this would affect such as invoice history, sales history, customer purchase history, returns history, pending orders and pending returns to name a few. This is important to understand. To change the primary number essentially creates a new product. New products do not have histories or pending orders.

As new books are published, if an ISBN-10 is assigned, it will be used as the primary item number. New books that are published without an ISBN-10 will have the ISBN-13 as the primary item number.

Starting with the January 2007 update, we have modified IVDI so that item number searches will automatically search both fields. For example, searching for either 0785206779 or 9780785206774 using either the ISBN or UPC/EAN fields in the Books database will bring up Way of the Wild Heart by John Eldredge.

Also on this update is a new program called ISBN13 that you run from the "Enter Program Name" screen. This program will read through your entire inventory file (multi-stores will be asked for which store's inventory file to read). For each record that has an ISBN-10 in the primary item number and doesn't already have an ISBN-13 in the secondary item number, an ISBN-13 will be calculated and put in the secondary item number field. You must be current on version 7.3 (or later) to run this program. If you haven't yet upgraded to 7.3, you will need to do this before you can run the ISBN13 program. Contact our support team for questions on upgrading.

When we first added support for the X.12 EDI (electronic ordering) documents, there were some vendors that could not receive EAN identifiers. In IVVM (bottom right corner of the first tab) there is a field labeled "Product Qual.". This field defaults to "UPC/EAN/ISBN". If you had to change this for any vendor so that EAN numbers were not being sent, you will need to contact that vendor to verify that they are ready to receive EAN (ISBN-13) numbers and change the IVVM field back to the default setting after you confirm that they are ready.

Remember, 12-digit UPC numbers are unaffected by the new ISBN-13 requirements and the changes we've made.

As your technology provider, we continue to look into the future in anticipation of the changes which affect your business. We've been ready for this day for several years so you could have a smooth transition to the new ISBN-13.

We hope this clarifies and brings understanding in the matter. However, your questions are most welcome and should be directed to our support team: support@bsmgr.com.

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