The wise author applies for the LCCN before the book is printed.
(Library of Congress Catalog Control Number)
One question that most authors don’t know to ask is, “How do I get the LCCN?” What’s a LCCN? Good question—it’s the Library of Congress number that shows that you exist, and the one that any library that you are pitching your book to wants to know you have.
The good news is that these are free (although going through the two steps to get them can sometimes be a pain in the tush.
Here are your steps:
The LCCN: The Library of Congress Control Number. It is free and can be obtained fairly quickly―usually within a day or two via email back to you. You must have your ISBN to get it. Once you have the LCCN, it will cover case bound (hard, paper, eBook), you don't need another for your title.
Beware: The websites are occasionally updated—changed—so these instructions may also require a little tweaking.
It is a two-step process:
- Go to Google or directly to the LCCN website.
- Enter: “Library of Congress book number” and click on “Search.”
- “Preassigned Control Number Program” will appear.
- Or go to www.LOC.gov.
- Click on “Open an Account” if appropriate. Otherwise click on “EPCN Login,” for an existing account if you have other titles already registered.
- If “New Account,” read instructions, and then click on “Application to Participate.”
- There is a note at the top, “Click here for Instructions,” for assistance.
- Fill out and click on “Submit.” Within a few days, no more than a week, you will be e-mailed an account number and a password providing you access to the appropriate application form.
- WATCH FOR THIS eMAIL--you can't complete the process until you respond to it. This is Step 2.
If you have an account already, the “EPCN Login” button brings you to the form requiring your Account ID and Password. Fill out and click on the “Sign On” button and fill out form. A final note to those with accounts already: The password expires after 60 days. A new one can be created using the following instructions. It must:
- Be at least eight characters in length;
- Contain at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one number;
- Not contain consecutive repeated characters;
- Be recreated following these steps if you wait to use it over 60 days;
- Not be changed more than once per day;
- Not be changed to any of the 11 most recently used passwords.
If the password has expired, just write the old one out and write the new one under it, changing just one of the numbers or letters. Keep a record so that you know what has been changed, thus avoiding repeating the old number by chance.
Your LCCN will come to you via email. Print it out. Put in it a Folder for all your Publisher Info. Create a Folder on your computer—put it there as well.
Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord Indie/Fab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences.
Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Unplugged, a two day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at http://togi.us/authoru. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.