EAN & UPC Bar Codes
An EAN bar code is your ISBN transferred into an OCR (optical character readable) scannable image. An EAN bar code is not necessary in most cases. If you plan to sell your book through distributors, wholesalers, and larger retailers, you will need a bar code. Smaller retailers may not require it; ask if you are not sure.
The bar code must be placed on the back cover and printed in black ink on a white background. Morris Publishing can create a bar code and place it on your back cover for an extra charge. Provide us your ISBN and reserve space for the bar code if you create your own cover. Follow the templates and instructions in our document, Submitting A Press-Ready Cover (PDF). If you don’t include a bar code on your book and later discover that you need one, bar codes can be printed on pressure sensitive labels (to adhere to your back cover) for an extra charge.
In addition to the EAN bar code, a book may require a Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code if it will be sold to retailers other than bookstores. Depending on your marketing plan, the book may require both EAN and UPC bar codes. Ask retailers if you are not sure. For more information, visit www.gs1us.org.