Self-Publishing - ISBN's & LCCN's


Today will be a quick post covering the two numbers important to print books. Ebooks use ISBN's too, just not in all formats. 

ISBN’s.


Every book has one so you'll have to purchase these. (Please note: some ebook sites will offer to let you use theirs for $10. Consider this for a cheaper option too!)

You can purchase ISBNs in the US at: www.myidentifiers.com. I recommend you start off with a block of 10 ISBN’s. They are $250 which breaks down to $25 a piece. Comparatively, a single ISBN is $125, so even if you aren’t going to use them all they will pay for themselves within a couple of books. 

When you purchase your ISBN’s you’ll be offered the option of purchasing your barcodes as well. This is an additional fee and not always necessary. If you are working with Lightening as your printer, you will not need to purchase barcodes. This is one of the things they automatically apply to your book. That will save you a few dollars there. For Createspace, I believe they offer something similar but you will want to check with them first to be sure. 

A single ISBN is meant to represent a format, not a single title. This means Print, and ebook should have different ISBN’s. Remember that. Also remember that some ebook formats do not require them. Amazon, for example, will assign its own number. Be sure you look and see which formats will require them and which ones don’t. This will prevent you from wasting all of your ISBN’s on a single title. 

Once you have your ISBN assigned, you can log into Bowker Link, the publisher access system and maintain your ISBN logbook. 

This is where you can pre-assign ISBN’s for books and update the titles that have already been assigned.  

PCN or LCCN.


An LCCN (Library of Congress Catalog Number) and/or PCN (Pre-assigned Control Number) assigns a library cataloging number to your book. It’s only necessary if you want to get your books print into libraries.
http://pcn.loc.gov/pcn001.html

There is no charge for an LCCN or a PCN, however, you are obligated to send a complimentary copy of all books for which a LCCN or a PCN was provided immediately upon publication.

Library of Congress
US & Publisher Liaison Division
Cataloging in Publication Program
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4283
Read more tips and tricks in my handy dandy little guide.

Available exclusively on Kindle!

Comments

KiaZiShiru said…
Great post. You always have a lot of good information that I didn't think of before :)
Anonymous said…
One point is not clear here, or I cannot figure it out from the post:
In order to bring a "pure" eBook (i.e. the book that has never been printed) to library, can I get a LCCN/PCN just by sending them an ePub or PDF file?
Katie Salidas said…
As far as I understand it, the LCCN or PCN is only for print books. Ebooks and libraries are a completely different beast altogether. =p

To get your ebook into a library, check out.

http://www.overdrive.com/