How to Get A LCCN for Your Book

December 26, 2009

Have you ever walked into a library and wondered how so many books find their way on the shelves of libraries around the world? Ever thought about what it would be like to see your book on one? Some might think that getting your book on a library shelf is beyond the impossible when you decide to self-publish. It is difficult but certainly not impossible.

There are four very important letters one must have in their book to even start the process, they are LCCN.

LCCN stands for Library of Congress Control Number. Many self-publishing companies charge you a fee for obtaining this number but unlike an ISBN, getting a LCCN for your book costs you nothing but could mean the difference in even having the potential of getting your book in libraries or not.

What is a LCCN number?

It is a unique identification number used to assign titles that will be acquired by the Library of Congress.

How important is a LCCN Number?

For Librarians an LCCN provides a way to access any associated Bibliographic record for any book in the Library of Congress database it also helps them to obtain information on thousands of book titles in other databases.

What does a LCCN Number look like and where does it go in your book once received?

Once you receive your LCCN number it would be placed on the back of your title page in the following manner: "Library of Congress Control Number: 2001121234."

There are some requirements to obtaining a LCCN and this article doesn't permit us to list them all so please visit:

Key points to remember:

1. Complete your application to participate in the program for a LCCN 3-5 weeks prior to publication.
Note: It will take about 2-3 weeks to get your account and password. Use this link to apply:

2. Don't forget that you must send in a "best-edition" of your book for which the LCCN was pre-assigned.

3. The "best-edition" must be the retail version of your book in either hardcover or paperback.

4. Only U.S. publishing companies are eligible to apply.

5. Make sure that you have listed on the title page or copyright page a U.S. place of publication.

Hope this article helps anyone considering self-publishing their book and ensuring that they have given their book all the potential it deserves.

You Might Also Like


  1. Thank you for posting this information