We've received a lot of questions from Associates regarding ISBN-13; so, we wanted to provide you all some information on the new standard and how you're affected.
The International Standards Organization (ISO) recently approved a change to the length of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) from 10 digits (ISBN-10) to 13 digits (ISBN-13) effective January 1, 2007. We have created an FAQ in Associates Central (login required), but here is a condensed version of some of the information in that FAQ.
Amazon plans to continue using 10-digit ASINs; so, in the future a book's ASIN will be different than its ISBN, just as items in product categories like Electronics or Kitchen may have a manufacturer SKU (stock keeping unit) different than the Amazon ASIN.
How does this affect Associates links to books?
ASINs for existing books will not change. So, any Associates links to specific books on Amazon will continue to work, and you do not need to update them.
If I know the 13-digit ISBN for a book, can I use that in a Associates Link to Amazon?
No. Associates Product Links must include the 10-digit ASIN of the item. If you know the 13-digit ISBN, you can look up the ASIN by searching for the book in Associates Central or on Amazon.com using the ISBN as your search term. Our Build Links (login required) tool in Associates Central will generate the HTML needed to build the link to Amazon.com.
Is there an automated way to create a Product Link if I have the 13-digit ISBN?
Yes. You can programmatically generate Associates links from 13-digit ISBNs using the E-Commerce Service (ECS) from Amazon Web Services. The ECS ItemLookup function allows you to look up items using an ASIN, international article number (EAN), or other identifiers. For more information, see the ECS documentation.