Do I need to buy a barcode when self-publishing?

Q: When purchasing an ISBN, I’m always asked if I also want to purchase a barcode for my self-published book. Do I need to buy one?

The answer generally is no. Most print-on-demand companies, such as KindleDP, provide a barcode for free. About the only time you’d want to purchase a barcode is if you are plan to print the book at a place that does not offer a barcode (such as the local printshop) and will distribute the book solely by yourself.

Related articles:
• How to purchase an ISBN for your book
• Design a back cover that sells your book


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.