The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique title identifier that is widely used for storing the information about all books and related products on computers at libraries, wholesalers, importers, distributors and booksellers. The aim of the ISBN is that each title that a publisher issues can be found quickly and easily in the databases. The ISBN gives the booksellers details about the title and author, and where orders may be placed. The ISBN system is designed for professional publishers, but universities, companies, associations, foundations and individuals can also use the ISBN.

In the ISBN system, everyone who publishes a book is called a publisher.

When you prefer to be your own publisher, you can apply for a single ISBNummer online at the Bureau ISBN.
Step 1 is to first register yourself on the site as a publisher. Step 2 is registering the publication. Application and registration fee will cost around € 55,- excl. VAT. (see isbn site for updated information)

Attention! Single ISBNummers can only be registered to a Dutch home address.
A university, hospital or work address will not be accepted unless you are a registered as a publisher at this address.

If it concerns a publication (for example a thesis) of Maastricht University, you can also get a ISBN number through Datawyse. You will receive a Maastricht University Press ISBN registration. For clients of Datawyse there is an additional low fee of € 13, – excl VAT associated with these UPM-registrations. As a customer you will receive the registration link you can fill out..For Belgian authors, it is also possible to apply for a single ISBN online registration for dissertations or family books. See the Belgian ISBN Agency: Belgisch ISBN Bureau