Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What is an LCCN and Why Would I Want One?

If you Google or Bing "indie publishing", you could take the rest of your life reading articles and posts about it. Stay on top of it, but don't let it bog you down. You need to be actively working toward getting your book out, not just reading about other people doing it.


You know when you look on the title page of books and they have an LCCN Number and words after it?

This number is for cataloguing with the Library of Congress. LCCN is short for Library of Congress Control Number and is assigned to titles it’s likely to acquire. If you want the opportunity to have your book in the Library of Congress, you’ll need an LCCN. (pretty cool, eh?)

You place on the copyright page and it looks something like this:
“Library of Congress Control Number: 2001012345”.
Sorry, only U.S. book publishers are eligible to get an LCCN and ebooks are ineligible for an LCCN.

You want this number in your book.

Check out all your books by traditional publishers. They have this number. You should, too. (use the links in the text below to get you to the right places.)

You have to apply for that number and it takes a while to go through the process. It is a two step process and it's free. (You get your LCCN on the PCN site- weird, I know.)
  1. You are the publisher, so fill out the publisher's form. This is the application to start the process.
  2. You will receive an email with your account number and password to log onto the site and apply for your number.
Once they've reviewed your application and approved it, they will send you your LCCN and you can print it in your book. (You will have to send them a copy of the book as soon as you print it.)

A word of caution. If you publish your book before getting this number, you will not be able to get one. You will need to start over with a new ISBN. Don't make that mistake.

You do need very specific information about your book when applying for the number. so if you haven't uploaded your interior text file to Createspace (or other printer) yet, you will need to do that before filling out the second form to get your number.

Go ahead and fill out the publisher form and then upload your file to your printer so that you can give that final information in order to get your LCCN.

Happy Applicationing.

Cindy M. Hogan
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