Why does your app need an ISBN scanning feature like Goodreads? (2023)

Contrary to what mass media would have you believe, reading is not a habit which is on its way to extinction but a hobby which is quickly becoming popular again. And yes, it is true that now we are migrating from physical books to eBooks, but that is just the evolution of a means of entertainment, like streaming services, and not its extinction. Kindle, GoodReads, and many other apps are the new favorite past times for avid readers, letting readers read books on the go without having to carry a physical book around, browse through directories and find the books that they may like, share their latest reads with their friends across all social media platforms, give reviews and even give and get recommendations. Given the rise in the popularity of the smartphone app development, it was only a matter of time until books became the industry’s target as well. Now there is a lot in these apps to be crazy about, but we will restrict ourselves today to only one specific feature- ISBN Scanning.

But before we move on,

we think it is our duty to tell you, those who are not very frequent readers and don’t know much about them, what an ISBN is. ISBN, a.k.a. International Standard Book Number, is a serial number which is unique for every book and remains, as the name itself suggests as well, the same all across the globe. And since this number is attached to the book, all the information regarding that book- author bio, type, synopsis, year of publishing, etc., can be mined from the internet using it. Bookstores use these ISBN numbers to arrange the books according to the genre and author and they also come in handy when the purchase of the book is being made.

And now that that is out of the way,

Why does your app need an ISBN scanning feature like Goodreads? (1)

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we can proceed to talk more about ISBNs scanning. It is basically a type of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature which lets you scan the ISBN code of a book and retrieve all the details about it from the internet. Now the way Goodreads use ISBN is quite fascinating. It lets you scan the ISBN of the book using the back camera of your smartphone, then it fetches all the data about it from the internet. Then it lets you add that book to your To-Read list, share it with friends, add to your Read list and pretty much do everything else as well which you would have done with the book whose ISBN you would have typed in.

Apps like GoodReads, apart from providing this function for a user’s convenience, do it for personal gains of course. Let us discuss some of the plus points that having an ISBN feature in your app can have for you and your users both.

1. Scanning is Easier, Faster and a lot less Frustrating

Why does your app need an ISBN scanning feature like Goodreads? (2)

Chatting on your phone and typing something from your memory are different and far less irritating things. But when you have to copy something down, that is where writing becomes a curse, especially when it is a long series of numbers or there is too much information which needs to be filled. The problem is- you first have to read a fragment of the number, then you have to type it, then you have to read the next fragment, keeping in mind that you don’t mess up the series of numerals and then type again. And after that, you have to recheck it as well. All of this can be pretty annoying and feel unnecessary, especially because there is an easier way to do it. ISBN scanning takes all the frustration out of copying data from the physical world to the digital one. Just a couple of simple taps and its done. Furthermore, it doesn’t require you to proofread, you know that the scanned information is flawless. And because of this, most apps like GoodReads opt for having an ISBN scanning feature in their apps.

Apart from being easy, it is fast as well. Anyone could tell that scanning something is much faster than typing the entire data, especially where there is too much of it. And finally, ISBN scanning is more practical these days. The reason being, a simple series of numbers can help you retrieve all the information about the book, without you even having to type it. Because of this ease that it instills in our lives, ISBN scanning makes typing data such as ISBN obsolete.

2. Scanning is Accurate

Most machines work flawlessly, until and unless there has been an error made by a human first. This human error factor is quite a big problem in ISBN entering sector. The low accuracy rate of a human and his fear that he is going to make a mistake, which ironically is the reason why he makes a mistake most of the times, makes using ISBN scanning feature more prudent. ISBN scanners have a +99% accuracy rate! No human can brag about being so accurate.

The biggest problem in typing long numbers is typos. We all make mistakes while typing, especially if you are a fast typer. But making an error while sending a text is not a big deal. Either your autocorrect will take care of it, or you will send the message with the typo and your friend wouldn’t be bothered by it in the least. But when you are entering numbers like ISBN, two things are working against you. First is the fear that you are going to make a mistake. This compels us to work slowly. Then is our depth of perception. ISBNs of books are written too small on the back covers, with numerals smushed into each other. So naturally, a normal human eye can shuffle numerals among each other, thus making an error. ISBN is not bound to make any such mistakes.

Then there are always other things making the entire process difficult, too. Your health, your location, etc. and again, the best thing about ISBN scanning apps is that they just don’t care. Give them something to scan, and they will scan it. Period. So they are a great tool to have for your staff since it makes the inventory task easier and accurate.

3. They improve your app’s user Engagement

Every company or business with an app keeps a keen eye on a number of metrics which tell them if their app is a success or a bust. Engagement of the app is one such metric. It tells owners how long every user remains on their apps. Higher the engagement longer the time users used your app and that will lead to greater revenues which is naturally the end game here. There are multiple ways to increase user engagement. And one of the obvious ones is by making it simple and an absolute delight to use. People shy away from complexity. They don’t need you to do some fancy technological somersault in order to please them, they just need your app to work the way it is supposed to in a streamlined and hassle-free manner. This is where ISBN scanners come in. You are literally eliminating the need to type in useless details, just a single tap, and BAM! It’s done. You cannot make a process any easier than that. So having ISBN scanning feature in your app will definitely work to your benefit. Users will just have to point their cameras at an ISBN code, and that’s it, all the information will be auto-filled in the fields which otherwise would have required them to fill.

By bringing features such as this, you are luring more users than ever by showcasing the fact just how easy you’ve turned the entire process. No typing, no copying, no going back and forth to make sure that you’re typing the right number, just a tap and that’s it.

Adding the ISBN scanner feature in an app

Now that you know what are its advantages, let us quickly go over- what you want out of your app, or to more precise, what do you want your app to do? Do you want to create an ISBN scanning app, which will specifically work to read barcodes and other such codes, or do you want to bring this feature into your app? The answer to this question will decide how you proceed. If you are looking to add the ISBN scanning feature in your app, then you need to have a development kit which lets you create a scanner and then integrate it with your app. There are a couple of good SDKs for a barcode and ISBN scanner. Some of them are- Scandit Barcode Scanner, Anyline ISBN Scanner, etc.

Creating an app just to scan various codes and documents will require you to hire a mobile app development firm or you will be required to set up your own development team and do it all on your own, which is going to be ten times costlier. Also, know that there are no rules that restrain you from adding this feature to your apps in one of your later updates rather than your first app. You can add this feature when you feel like it can benefit you now.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content of this blog including links, texts, images, and graphics is only meant for informational purposes. We do not intend to infringe any copyright policy or do not possess any third-party material. If you have issues related to any of our content or images, kindly drop your message at info@matellio.com

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Is there an app to scan ISBN number? ›

BookScouter App, available on iOS and Android, allows you to scan ISBNs and get prices for the used books you want to sell.

What is ISBN app? ›

Description. ISBN Scan is an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) reader application. It could not only read the ISBN bar-code but also read the ISBN number itself by the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) powered functions.

Can you scan books into Goodreads? ›

Tap on the camera icon to the right of the search bar at the top of your screen to scan a book's cover or barcode. Hold the camera still, making sure the entire barcode or cover is visible in the camera's viewfinder. You may want to lay the book on a flat surface for the best results.

What does the ISBN number tell you? ›

What is an ISBN used for? An ISBN is essentially a product identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and other supply chain participants for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control purposes. The ISBN identifies the registrant as well as the specific title, edition and format.

How do I scan an ISBN on my iPhone? ›

Simply hold up a book's barcode to iPhone's camera and Book Scanner will scan it automatically. Book Scanner remembers your scanned books and you can buy them on Apple Books at your convenience.

How much does it cost to get a book scanned? ›

Book scanning
Type of originalPrice per image
Book Scanning (unbound)$0.15
Book Scanning (bound)$0.50
Oversize Book$1.00

Why is ISBN so important? ›

Is ISBN necessary? The ISBN helps customers identify and order the exact book they want to purchase. Libraries, bookstores, online retailers, distributors, and wholesalers depend on this unique identifier to track purchases and sales, and it will be necessary to apply for an ISBN if you intend to sell to them.

What is the advantage of ISBN? ›

The benefits of ISBN include: The ISBN is a unique international identifier for monographic publications; assigning a number replaces the handling of long bibliographic descriptive records, thereby saving time and staff costs and reducing copying errors.

What is ISBN and what is its importance? ›

An ISBN identifies the registrant, title, edition and format of products used by publishers, bookstores, libraries, etc. and is important for ordering, sales reporting and inventory control. An ISBN increases the chances that your book will be found.

Can I add a book to Goodreads without an ISBN? ›

Yes, you can! And you can add a note saying that it hasn't an ISBN code in the description. Thank you very much! You're welcome!

How do I scan a book on Goodreads app? ›

To start scanning barcodes on the Android app, simply tab on the camera icon to the right of the search bar at the top of your screen. You can then scan a book's cover or barcode. Hold the camera still, making sure the entire barcode or cover is visible in the camera's viewfinder.

Can you link Goodreads and Libby? ›

No, you can't link Goodreads to either Audible or Libby.

How much does an ISBN cost? ›

It costs about $125 to get one ISBN number in the US. However, if you purchase more than one at a time, this cost could be lowered. Warning: Amazon may grant you a free ISBN for your first book, but this can ONLY be used on KDP for distribution to Amazon and can't be used for self-publishing services elsewhere.

What is the difference between ISBN and barcode? ›

An ISBN is NOT the same thing as a barcode. The barcode you see on the back of a book is derived from an ISBN, but the two are not the same. An ISBN is only a number. A barcode is a visual method used to convey an ISBN to a computer using scanning technology during a sales or inventory transaction process.

Does the ISBN number matter? ›

Why does a book need an ISBN? An ISBN is required to identify a book uniquely, irrespective of where that book originates from. It is also used to differentiate one edition of a book from another. The ISBN also serves the purpose of being able to identify the publisher of each edition of a book.

Does iPhone have totally free scanner app? ›

Adobe Scan is free to download and turns your mobile device into a powerful scanner that recognizes text automatically (OCR) and allows you to create, save, and organize your paper documents as a digital file.

How do I use the scan option on my iPhone? ›

How to scan documents on your iPhone or iPad
  1. Open Notes and select a note or create a new one.
  2. Tap the Camera button , then tap Scan Documents .
  3. Place your document in view of the camera.
  4. If your device is in Auto mode, your document will automatically scan. ...
  5. Tap Save or add additional scans to the document.
7 Nov 2022

Does iPhone have built in barcode scanner? ›

Yes. iPhones with iOS 11 and above have an in-built QR Code scanner that can be accessed via the native camera app, Control Center, and Google Lens.

Is it against copyright to scan a book? ›

If you want to scan something, you may do so only if the use falls within one of the exceptions in the Copyright Act, such as fair dealing, or where no permission is required, such as scanning a public domain work (one in which copyright has expired).

Does goodwill scan their books? ›

Purpose or Role: To scan donated books to determine what channel they will be sold to ensure Goodwill receives the maximum revenue to help fulfill its mission. Our mission is changing lives.

Does Staples do book scanning? ›

Copy, print, scan and fax your documents

No problem. Get to work with our self service machines.

Is an ISBN a legal requirement? ›

It is used by booksellers, publishers and libraries for ordering, listing and stock control. Although there is no legal requirement for an ISBN and it conveys no form of legal or copyright protection, it is essential if you want to sell your book through bookshops or online booksellers.

Do I need an ISBN and barcode? ›

If you do not plan to sell your book in brick-and-mortar bookstores, you do not need a barcode. If you want stores to be able to scan your ISBN, you will need one. The barcode holds additional information besides the ISBN, like the price of the book.

What are the 5 Elements of ISBN? ›

A 13-digit ISBN can be separated into its parts (prefix element, registration group, registrant, publication and check digit), and when this is done it is customary to separate the parts with hyphens or spaces.

Is getting ISBN free? ›

You can purchase an ISBN or obtain one for free through your self-publishing platform. Here are two ways to get an ISBN for a self-published book: #1 – Purchase an ISBN from your regionally-accepted source. #2 – Receive a free ISBN from your self-publishing platform.

Can I make my own ISBN barcode? ›

Before making an ISBN barcode, the user must first apply for an ISBN number. This number should be 10 or 13 digits, for example, 0-9767736-6-X or 978-0-9767736-6-5. Once the ISBN number is obtained, it should be displayed above the barcode on the book.

How long is an ISBN number good for? ›

ISBNs were 10 digits long until January 2007, when they changed to 13. But ISBNs never expire, and even old, 10-digit numbers can be converted into 13-digit codes with Bowker's conversion tool.

Who is responsible of the ISBN? ›

The administration of the ISBN system within a registration group is the responsibility of the ISBN registration agency. The ISBN registration agency may operate on a national, regional, linguistic, or other reasonable division of responsibility according to the basis of the group allocation.

What is an ISBN What are the importance and benefits that libraries get from using an ISBN? ›

ISBNs are the global standard for book identification. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number, and is a unique 13-digit numeric identifier linked to a book. It identifies the publisher (that is you if you are self-publishing) as well as the specific book title, edition and format.

When did ISBN become a thing? ›

ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is an international standard first published under the auspices of ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) in 1972.

What if my book is not on Goodreads? ›

If our system isn't able to locate your book's ASIN or ISBN, it's likely that your book isn't yet in the Goodreads database. In this case, you can manually add it here. Be sure to fill out as many details as possible, then click Create book at the bottom of the page.

Are my books private on Goodreads? ›

You can't have secret books on Goodreads. Even if you set your profile to private, friends will still be able to see all of the book that you shelve. Hi - Unfortunately we don't offer the ability to make shelving's private. One of the reasons we started Goodreads was to see our friends' reviews and share our own.

Can you self publish on Goodreads? ›

This includes international authors, as well as self-published authors. If your book is not yet in the Goodreads database, you may manually add it here. If you need assistance adding your book, please post your request in the Goodreads Librarians group, where our army of volunteer librarians will be happy to help.

How can I scan a book without ruining it? ›

How to scan a book without damaging it?
  1. Prepare the book before the scan. Remove any inserts, wipe the dust away and clean any dirt.
  2. Start the actual scanning process. ...
  3. Make sure you are not overstretching the binding during the scanning process.
  4. Finish the scanning and prepare the book for storage. ...
  5. Congratulations!

Which app is used to scan a book? ›

Adobe Scan (Android, iOS) CamScanner (Android, iOS) Clear Scan (Android)

Do books automatically get added to Goodreads? ›

Important: Books that do not have a record on the Goodreads database will not immediately appear, but a record will automatically be created a few hours from then.

Do I need both OverDrive and Libby? ›

Which app should I use? If you use one iOS or Android device to browse, download, and read or listen to digital books, we recommend trying Libby. It's a great one-device experience. If you like to read books on many devices, or prefer to browse for new titles on your computer, stick with the OverDrive app for now.

Can two people use the same library card on Libby? ›

Yes. If you're using the Libby app, your ebooks will sync across devices when you sign in with the same library card or use a setup code to set up Libby on multiple devices.

Can I link Goodreads to my library? ›

Under GET A COPY just after the book description, click on Links button on the right. You should see your local library or store listed there now. Click on it.

Does Amazon require an ISBN? ›

If you are publishing a low-content book, you can choose to either use your own ISBN or publish without an ISBN. If you publish without an ISBN, we'll automatically assign an ASIN for your book. Learn more about low-content books. Note: An ISBN is required for publication of paperback and hardcover books.

Does Amazon give you an ISBN number? ›

Amazon will auto-generate an ISBN number for your print book and an ASIN number for your digital book, register it with Bowker and www.booksinprint.com and even generate the appropriate EAN barcode for the back of your printed book.

Does Amazon charge for ISBN numbers? ›

Amazon KDP will issue an ISBN for free for your paperback or hardcover. Still, this ISBN would only be applicable for distribution on Amazon and through its distribution partners. You can't use your paperback or hardcover's ISBN for an eBook.

How do I get an ISBN barcode for free? ›

ISBN Bar Code Generator
  1. Step 1: Step 1: Enter the ISBN-13. Visit this link to correctly hyphenate (E.G.978-0-99-702549-1) ...
  2. Step 2: Enter the Book Price (leave blank if not required or 90000 for no set price). See instructions below for currencies other than US$. ...
  3. Step 3: Select your preferred format.

Can I generate my own barcode? ›

You can get barcode scanners on Amazon or another specialized online store for under $50. Most barcode generators are free. In fact, you can use the Barcode Font in Microsoft Word to generate your own barcodes. Therefore, with less than $100, you can create a system set to make your own barcodes.

Which type of barcode scanner is best? ›

Ahead, the best barcode scanners you can buy.
  • Best Budget: Symcode USB Barcode Reader. ...
  • Best for Wireless Connectivity: NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner. ...
  • Most Compact: NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner. ...
  • Best for Wearability: Symcode 2D Bluetooth Ring Barcode Scanner. ...
  • Best for Handsfree Scanning: Symcode Omnidirectional.
19 Sept 2022

Do two copies of the same book have the same ISBN? ›

In most cases, this is not a mistake. The fact is, sometimes publishers print the same ISBN on more than one of their publications. Although ISBNs are meant to be unique to each title edition, it is surprisingly common for publishers to give the same ISBN to different books.

What does the ISBN tell you? ›

What is an ISBN used for? An ISBN is essentially a product identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and other supply chain participants for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control purposes. The ISBN identifies the registrant as well as the specific title, edition and format.

How do I verify an ISBN number? ›

To verify an ISBN, calculate 10 times the first digit, plus 9 times the second digit, plus 8 times the third digit and so on until we add 1 time the last digit. If the final number leaves no remainder when divided by 11, the code is a valid ISBN.

How do I look up an ISBN number? ›

On most books, the ISBN number can be found on the back cover, next to the barcode. If a book doesn't show the ISBN on the back cover, look on the page featuring the copyright and publisher information and the ISBN will be found there.

How do you scan a book to see if it is worth money? ›

Just enter the ISBNs or scan in the barcodes using the Ziffit app to find out how much your books are worth.

Is it illegal to sell a book without an ISBN? ›

ISBNs are not necessary to sell ebooks; none of the top online retailers require them. Printed books, however, cannot be sold without an ISBN.

How much does it cost to get an ISBN number? ›

It costs about $125 to get one ISBN number in the US. However, if you purchase more than one at a time, this cost could be lowered. Warning: Amazon may grant you a free ISBN for your first book, but this can ONLY be used on KDP for distribution to Amazon and can't be used for self-publishing services elsewhere.

How do I get an ISBN number for free? ›

If you live in the United States, you can get your book's ISBN for free through your self-publishing platform, such as Amazon and Draft2Digital, which will provide you with an ISBN at no cost.

Can two books have same ISBN number? ›

Once assigned to a book, an ISBN cannot be reused. This is a very important point to keep in mind. The same ISBN cannot be used for different formats of the book, whether the book is in printed or electronic form. That means hardcover and softcover versions of the book have to be assigned separate ISBNs.

Who assigns ISBN numbers? ›

The national ISBN agency assigns the registrant element (cf. Category:ISBN agencies) and an accompanying series of ISBNs within that registrant element to the publisher; the publisher then allocates one of the ISBNs to each of its books.

What is the best app for scanning books to sell? ›

BookScouter is a go-to solution for users who want to sell and buy used or new textbooks at a competitive price. The buyback mobile app compares prices on 30+ vendors and finds the best deals on books.

Will Amazon buy books from me? ›

Learn more about selling plans here. What happened to Amazon Book Trade-In? Amazon no longer accepts trade-in books. You can sell your used books on Amazon through a seller account.

Can I scan in an entire book for personal use? ›

All types of copying, scanning and printing are subject to copyright law. It is your responsibility to make sure you do not copy more than you are legally allowed to. The Copyright Act does not allow making multiple copies of a single item. You are allowed to make a single copy for your personal study purposes.

What is the easiest way to scan a book? ›

The easiest scanning solution is right in your pocket. Try Adobe Scan or another app that allows you to scan textbook pages into PDFs with a photo. Using your phone speeds up the process and allows you to quickly create folders of PDFs for each chapter or section of your textbook.

Is there an app that scans a book and reads it to you? ›

Subscription apps

The best known of these is probably Envision. This runs on Apple and Android phones and one of its biggest strengths is its instant text reading in real time which is very responsive and quite accurate. Want to get even more out of your iPhone?

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