No need to purchase SAN for self-published book

Sometimes self-publishing authors are advised that they need to purchase a Standard Address Number (SAN) for their book released in the United States. Be wary of such advice, especially if it comes from a salesperson.

A SAN is a seven-digit identifier used to identify an address, usually for a publisher or an associated company, such as a distributor. Bookstores, libraries, printers and publishers alike use this number, mainly to avoid miscommunication errors. Think of it this way: If the government uses your social security number when referring to you, there’s less of a chance of mixing you up with someone else who might have the same first and last name.

Since you’re self-publishing, reason suggests that if you purchase an ISBN and become your own publisher that you ought to also purchase a SAN.

You don’t need one, however. Unless you’re keeping separate addresses for billing, shipping and so on, a SAN won’t benefit you. In addition, there’s no requirement that you purchase a SAN to publish.


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.