FAQ

Getting Started: Using the API

Welcome to ISBNdb.com. Your API key is accessible in your user dash and in your welcome email as well.

The API 2 URL is api2.isbndb.com

Please make sure your code is formatted correctly according to our code examples on the API doc:

https://isbndb.com/apidocs/v2

You may also test your key in the API doc directly to confirm it is working properly. Select the "Authorize " button on the API docs page and enter your key; then select a Get subject and the "Try it out" button; paste your key there to execute and confirm it is working.

The most common errors are unauthorized key or limits exceeded; your subscription must be current for your key to be authorized. If you exceed your daily call limits in a 24 hour period, the key will no longer work the remainder of that day.

For new subscribers, there is a 500 daily call limit during the 7 day free trial. After the 7 days your plan call limits will automatically reset to the higher call limits of the plan you subscribed to. At any time during the trial, you may bypass the trial using the button in your dashboard to immediately begin the subscription plan at the higher call limits.

The key data points for each book are ISBN, ISBN13, title, author, list price, publisher, publish date, edition, pages, binding, and synopsys. We also have language, cover image, format, overview, dimensions, subject, weight, and dewey decimal for a few million titles.

The Premium plan offers all data fields, as well as bulk data which allows you to call up to 1000 books with 1 API call.

The Pro plan offers all data fields, bulk data, and also real time prices.

API 1.0

API 1.0 is discontinued, please ensure your code is formatted correctly according to the API 2.0 documentation available at https://isbndb.com/apidocs/v2. All existing API keys will work so there is no need to make any other changes. If you were subscribed to an older plan, your billing rate will be grandfathered in unless you cancel or switch plans.

Bug Reporting

If you have formatted your code properly according to the API doc and you are encountering an error, please contact us.

Account Management

After you have created and verified your account, you will have access to the ISBNdb API plan that you have chosen. Your API key is available in your dashboard and will remain authorized as long as you remain subscribed to your plan.

There is a 7 day free trial so you can test the API at no risk; there is no contract, the subscription is monthly and you can cancel at any time.

In your account dashboard, you can monitor your API usage, edit your profile, change plans, or cancel your subscription.

The dashboard display shows your trailing 30 day usage of the API so you can monitor your usage.

From the dash, you can also edit any of your profile information. Please note if you change your email, you will need to also update your paypal payments to remain subscribed.

To change plans, select the "Switch Plans" button in your dash, and then select the new plan you want. Follow the instructions to complete the switch (please note there is no trial period for a switch nor can we prorate any funds to the new plan). Your API key will remain the same and will have the new daily call limits of the plan you switched to.

Cancellations

You can cancel your subscription at any time. Billing starts automatically after the free 7 day trial; we are unable to offer refunds after billing has started. To cancel your account, select the "Edit Profile" button from the dash and scroll to bottom and select "cancel account". Your ISBNdb key and account will be deleted if you select this option. Please note you must also cancel your PayPal payments through your PayPal dashboard to cancel recurring billing.

Billing Questions

ISBNdb accepts credit cards as our primary form of payment. Once your subscription is setup, your payments will process automatically each month until you cancel your account. We are unable to offer refunds for any plans or unused calls. You may cancel your plan at any time through your dashboard.

If you are interested in prepaying for an annual plan, we also offer check, wire, and PayPal payments. Contact us for alternate payment options on annual plans. 

Technical Support

Getting Started with the API

If you are not familiar with an API, read this. The API requires intermediate programming skills to integrate with your website or app.

Please make sure your code is formatted correctly according to our code examples on the API doc: https://isbndb.com/apidocs/v2

How to authorize and test your key in the API doc directly to confirm it is working properly.

Go to https://isbndb.com/apidocs/v2

  1. Look for the authorize button with a lock
  2. When clicked, it asks for a key
  3. Paste your REST key there and click on authorize
  4. You can then use the page to actually test the key
  5. If your key doesn’t work here, it is invalid due to your subscription not being current

Test a search term in the API:

Go to https://isbndb.com/apidocs/v2

  1. After you authorize, going for instance to any of the "GET" buttons
  2. For instance /books/query, click it and you will see the "Try Out" button
  3. Clicking that allows you to fill in data, then execute
  4. The API search endpoints are title, author, and keyword.

Bulk Data

Bulk Data gives you the ability to retrieve up to 1000 results with a single call (only in premium and pro plans).

Go to https://isbndb.com/apidocs/v2

  1. Under Book, green POST show parameters for querying bulk data

Special Characters

Special characters in book titles or authors must be exact match

Which platforms/languages do you support?

ISBNdb employs a REST API, which means that it is not specifically tied to any language or platform. You can have REST clients for most every language or platform out there.

Click here. for more information on how restful APIs work.

JSON Tips

We have found this to be a good resource for utilizing JSON to parse our database.

PHP JSON Parsing

Getting JSON data from a response stream and reading it as a string

 

isbndb_getbook_api

isbndb_getbook_request

 

Each request to query the database is counted as a “call” whether that request results in 1 result or 1000. Your plan allows you to make a certain amount of daily calls, if that amount is exceeded in a 24 hour period then your key won’t work until the next 24 hour cycle. Calls are not cumulative, and cannot be prorated for future use; unused calls expire and do not roll over to the next 24 hour period.
ISBNdb is the world’s largest book database, with close to 33 million titles compiled from open data sources around the web, available to users on ISBNdb and to other websites and apps via our API. You can search by ISBN, title, author, publisher, date, and more.
The database is constantly growing, and is approaching 33 million titles and counting. Our live database statistics on our homepage display the exact number of books available. The database is continually updated, with more books and more data points for existing books continually being added.
The key data points for each book are ISBN, ISBN13, title, author, list price, publisher, publish date, edition, pages, binding, and synopsys. We also have language, cover image, format, overview, dimensions, subject, weight, and dewey decimal for a few million titles.
Only the pro plan includes real time book pricing from multiple merchants; all plans include the list price data point.
We have up to 19 data points for each book; only title, author, ISBN and ISBN13 are guaranteed for each book. The other data points vary in coverage depending on the ISBN. Our crawlers add tens of thousands of data points daily, so we expect full coverage of all book eventually.
Our database is constantly being expanded as it crawls libraries, publishers, and other websites to include as many books as possible.
Becoming a member of ISBNdb.com will allow you to use our API on your website to parse book information in real time. You can access all of the ISBNdb data on a real time basis, and you will only be charged based on your subscription plan. You can also download and store or cache the data locally with a current subscription (data must be deleted if your subscription expires or is cancelled). ISBNdb can work as your primary or backup database for your website. Or app, and is much more cost effective than conventional book databases.
Our database is not limited by language, any book that has an ISBN is eligible to be included in our database. We do not have any statistics on how many books in any particular language, for example Czech or French, are in our database.
Yes, we have over 8 million book cover images and growing daily. Since we gather our data from a variety of publicly available sources, including the library of congress, merchants, and other databases, the image sizes are not standardized and can vary by each book. We attempt to standardize the images as much as possible, but can't guarantee each image size will be the same.
No, calls do not get rolled over. If you use 10 calls of the 100 call daily limit, you will still only have 100 calls the next day.
Our database is continually updated by gathering data from a variety of sources across the Internet. If you have recently published a book, or a book that you know about is not listed, it hasn’t been made available through any of our data sources. If you wish your book to be added, please send us the ISBN through the contact us link.
Yes, you can add a book to the database here: https://isbndb.com/isbndb/books/request.
We gather our data from a variety of publicly available sources, including the library of congress, merchants, and other databases. Accordingly, we have no control over the accuracy of the data in our database. Typically if there is a discrepancy like this, our crawlers will update the data with the most commonly used data for the particular isbn. If you believe the information for your book is inaccurate, we suggest you contact the global issuer of isbns, http://www.bowker.com/, and have them correct the data which feeds the global databases. If the error persists you can request to have the isbn purged from our database.
Desk Copies are available directly from publishers. ISBNdb.com is not a publishing company so we are unable to provide desk copies to faculty or staff; however you may search ISBNdb for your book to determine who the publisher is and then contact them directly.
ISBNdb.com provides data on books, including author’s name and publication date, however we are unable to provide contact information for authors. Each author is different; some make it easy to contact them while others prefer their privacy. Your best bet is to search ISBNdb for your book to discover your author’s name and publisher; then search the publisher or author’s website for their contact information. You may also try to follow or contact the author on social media.
Non-profit organizations can get discounted access to the database by providing proof of 501(c)(3) status from the IRS.
Academic Institutions can get discounted access by providing proof of accreditation.
You can mail a check paying for an annual plan. Please mail checks to:
PRICE NETWORK LLC
2810 N Church St
STE 38827
Wilmington, DE 19802-4447