Specialists in print and digital publications for . . .

Our services

We provide a comprehensive range of services for print and digital media (websites, eBooks, eMags, flipbooks, CDs and DVDs):

  • Design
  • Layout
  • Typesetting
  • eBooks (ePub and Kindle)
  • Technical illustration
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Website development
  • Prepress
  • Print management
  • Multimedia management

The Seven Deadly Sins

Ask ten proofreaders or editors their seven pet hates, and no doubt you’ll end up with seventy rather than seven examples. In fact, we had quite an argument here at Sunset as we tried to narrow the list down to just seven! Here’s what we ended up with:

1. Lead/led

2. Everyday/Every day

3. It’s/Its

4. Alright/All right

5. Stationery/Stationary

6. Foreword/Forward

7. Separate/Seperate

Frequently asked questions

What is an ISBN?

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number, and is a standard introduced in 1968 to identify and track books and other monographic publications. If your book is to appear in print and you hope to sell it in book stores or most other retail outlets, you will most certainly require an ISBN.

In the case of eBooks, some resellers require ISBNs and some do not. There is, however, a good reason for having one. R.R. Bowker’s Books in Print (online version at http://www.booksinprint.com/bip) lists millions of book titles, including eBooks, and is an important resource for libraries, booksellers and publishers. If you want your book listed there, you most certainly will need an ISBN. Incidentally, if your book is to appear in several formats, e.g. in print, as an eBook and on CD/DVD, each format will require its own ISBN.

ISBNs are sold to publishers – and, yes, if you’re a self-publisher you are considered a publisher by ISBN agencies, so you can obtain your own ISBN. As you might expect, ISBNs are not free. In most countries they are sold in blocks of 10, 100 and 1000; however, there are a small number of countries where it is possible to purchase a single ISBN.

While the exact procedure varies from country to country, the following from the website of R.R. Bowker (the US ISBN agency) is typical:

How does the process work?
First, a publisher applies for an ISBN. The ISBN Agency emails the ISBN to the publisher. The ISBN is placed on the copyright page and is encoded on a barcode, which is placed on the back cover of the book. Then, when the book is about to be sold, the publisher registers the title in Books in Print at BowkerLink.com.

ISBN agencies are listed below for a number of English-speaking regions:



Level One, 607 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004
(PO Box 6509, St Kilda Road Central VIC 8008)
Phone: +61 3 8517 8349
Fax: +61 3 8517 8368
Email: isbn@thorpe.com.au
Web: http://www.thorpe.com.au/en-AU/products/servident_isbn.shtml

New Zealand

New Zealand Standard Book Numbering Agency
National Library of New Zealand
PO Box 1467, Wellington 6140
Phone: (04) 474 3074
Fax: (04) 474 3161
Email: isbn@natlib.govt.nz
Web: http://www.natlib.govt.nz/publishers

United States of America

R.R. Bowker

630 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974
Phone: 1-888-269-5372 (toll free); in NJ: 1-908-286-1090
Email: isbn-san@bowker.com
Web: http://www.bowker.com/en-US/products/servident_isbn.shtml


Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4
Phone: 613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777 (toll free in Canada and the US)
TTY: 613-992-6969 or 1-866-299-1699 (toll free in Canada)
Fax: 613-995-6274
Email: isbn@lac-bac.gc.ca
Web: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/isn/041011-1000-e.html

United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland

Nielsen Book Services Limited
3rd Floor, Midas House, 62 Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 6LQ
Phone: +44 (0)1483 712 200
Fax: +44 (0)1483 712 201
Email: isbn.agency@nielsen.com
Web: http://www.nielsenbookdata.co.uk/controller.php?page=88

South Africa

The National Library of South Africa
ISN Agency
Attn: Ms. Magret Kibido
PO Box 397, Pretoria 0001
Phone: (+27 (0)12) 401 9718
Fax: (+27 (0)12) 324 2441
Email: Magret.Kibido@nlsa.ac.za or ISN.agency@nlsa.ac.za
Web: http://www.publishsa.co.za/publishing/isbn-numbers

What is a barcode?

If your book is to be produced in printed form and then sold through retail outlets, it will require a barcode (or, more specifically, a Bookland EAN Bar Code) on the back cover. This barcode includes the ISBN as well as a coded price, and is used throughout the distribution and sales process.

When you purchase an ISBN from an agency, you will be given the option of purchasing a barcode at the same time.

Do eBooks need a barcode? Not if the book is intended as an Internet download only, but if it will be distributed and sold commercially on CD-ROM, the answer is yes.

For further information on EAN barcodes, the excellent resource at http://www.adams1.com/isbn.html is well worth a visit.