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RECOMMENDED!






ISBN and SAN Questions Answered

by Wendy J. Woudstra   

 
 


Q. What is a SAN, and where do I get one?

A SAN is a seven digit identifying number that is used to label every separate address of every firm in the book industry, including wholesalers, publishers, booksellers and libraries. Some firms make use of them, some don't, but to be safe, include your SAN on all your invoices, orders, and correspondence.

You can request a SAN when you apply for an ISBN block, from R.R. Bowker Co.

Q. I have had a hard time contacting R.R. Bowker. Are they so busy servicing the major publishers that they ignore small players?

Well, I wasn't sure of this one, so I went to the source, and this is the reply I received from R.R. Bowker administration:

The majority of our calls and ISBN publisher assignments are from the small press publishers. On rare occasion, we receive calls from the large publishers, all of whom are very established with ISBNs, having procured them in the late 60's & early 70s.

The Agency employs 3 full-time phone editors who handle calls professionally & efficiently, ensuring that the information dispensed is accurate. Granted, we do have a voice mail system to handle the peak calling times, but most of the phone editors time is devoted to handling basic inquiries from small press publishers. I do receive calls from frustrated publishers who want to speak to a live person, but I can assure you that calls are returned within 24-48 hrs if the caller reaches the voice mail system.

Our phone editors can be reached directly at 908-665-6770. We DO NOT employ a toll-free line. Our toll free lines are R. R. Bowker customer service lines, and it is not unusual for all circuits to be busy, thus compounding publishers frustration in getting thru to the Agency. If publishers call on our direct line, they will be on hold no longer than 20 seconds before either reaching a live person or voice mail.


by Wendy Woudstra