Never print a SAN on a book.
A SAN identifies an address.
A SAN is used to eliminate errors
in addresses used for shipping, billing, etc.
What is a SAN?
A SAN stands for Standard Address Number. It is a unique
Standard Identification Number for each address of an
organization in or served by the publishing industry, which
is engaged in repetitive transactions with other members of
the industry in order to facilitate communications among
them. It is an American National Standard—ANSI/NISO
Z39.43—1993—Standard Address Number for the publishing
What is the
Objective of SAN?
The objective of
this standard is to establish an identification numbering
system, by assigning each address within the industry a
discrete code to be used for positive identification for all
buying and selling transactions within the industry.
What is the
format of the SAN?
The SAN consists of
six digits, plus a modulus-eleven check digit, displayed
with a hyphen following the third digit (XXX-XXXX) to
facilitate transcription. Whenever the SAN is printed on
documents, it is to be preceded by the identifier “SAN” to
avoid confusion with other numbering systems (SAN XXX-XXXX).
The hyphen following the third digit is to be used in print
form, but need not be entered or retained in computer
What is the
reason for using the SAN?
various account numbers, such as billing errors, products
shipped to the wrong points, errors in payments and returns,
will be almost eliminated by using the SAN system.
addition, the SAN eliminates a constant step in the order
fulfillment or in the completion of many other types of
transactions—the “look up procedure,” used to assed the
account numbers. Without SAN, a library or a store dealing
with fifty different publishers is assigned a different
account number by each supplier. SAN solves this problem. If
your stores, or libraries, have the SAN on your stationery
and ordering documents, vendors to who you send your
transactions do not have to check your account number and
can proceed immediately to process your orders. Of course,
ordering can be further facilitated if you use the ISBN.
Who will have a
The SANs are to be
assigned to, and used by, U.S. software and book publishers,
wholesalers, subscription agents, jobbers and distributors,
college and university stores, libraries and library
systems, library binders, vendors, elementary and secondary
schools, school systems, and service organizations providing
a business function for each of the preceding organizations.
In addition, it is assigned to paper and cloth vendors as
well as compositors, printers and binders providing services
to the publishing industry.
What do I do
when I receive the SAN and where is it printed?
You are encouraged
to use the SAN in all of your transactions. We recommend
that the SAN be imprinted on your stationery, letterheads,
order forms, invoice forms, checks and all other documents
used in executing various transactions. You should do this
at your convenience when stationery and forms are reprinted.
If you have an ample supply of forms, you may use a rubber
stamp to add your SAN to the existing forms, until new forms
should be printed always as the first line, standing alone
above the name and address, preferably on the upper lefthand
corner on all stationery, to avoid confusion with other
numbers printed below the name and address like telephone
numbers, zip codes, etc.
How can I find
the assigned SANs?
BookIndustryLocator.com Bowker’s SAN-based online directory
lists all SAN assignments for publishers, libraries,
distributors, wholesalers, bookstores, printers, book
manufacturers, etc. and includes address and contact
What are the
major SAN functions?
The SAN itself has
no functional meaning as it merely defines an address. It
becomes functional only in its application to activities
such as purchasing, billing, shipping, receiving, paying,
crediting and refunding. It may be sued for any other
communications or transactions between participating
organizations to which you apply it.
address, if ship-to or bill-to is different, will have its
How are the
bill-to, ship-to, pay-from accounts distinguished by the
The SAN is strictly
a Standard Identification Number for an address. The user
determines its application. Users may wish to develop cross
references in their systems between the ship-to and bill-to
addresses for a single customer.