The Library of Congress Control Number (The LCCN)
NOTE: The entire program for the LCCN can be found on Google under
LCCN Publishers User Guide
The #1 question that most authors don’t know to ask is, How do I get an LCCN?
What’s an 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. Think of it as your book’s social security #.
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 quickly—usually within a day or two via email back to you. You must have your ISBN to get it. And you must do it before you publicly sell your book/publish. Once you have the LCCN, it will cover case bound (hard, paper), you don’t need another for your title.
Note: Audiobooks and eBooks are not eligible for an LCCN assignment. And, having an LCCN does not mean that your book is Audiobooks and eBooks are not eligible for LCCN assignment. The LCCN does not copyright your book. For that, you want to register the final work here: https://www.copyright.gov/registration/literary-works/
Beware: The websites are occasionally updated—changed—so these instructions may also require a little tweaking.
Go to Google
Enter loc.gov/publisher/pcn and click on Search.
There will be two options on the next screen:
- Preassigned Control Number Program-Publishers (this will automatically become your LCCN when the book is published).
- New Account: Preassigned Control Number Program-Publishers
If creating a new account, click on New Account option and then on Application to Participate. A form titled Application to Participate will appear. Read instruction, fill it out, and click on Submit. You will then receive a confirmation message by e-mail.
Within anywhere from a day to 10 days, you will be e-mailed an approved account number and a temporary password providing you access to the appropriate application form for the Preassigned Control Number (PCN) Program.
If you had a PCN account in the former PCN system, you must now create a NEW Pre Pub Book Link account.
For Initial Login, the link in the Approval email will take you to a screen where you will enter your registered email address as the User name, and use the temporary password provided. You will now need to change your password. It must be 16 characters long and include 1 upper case letter, 1 lowercase letter, 1 symbol, and 1 number. For example Thisismypassword@7
The password expires after 60 days. It cannot be changed more than once per day and cannot be changed to any of the 11 most recently used passwords. If it 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 it in a Folder designated for all your Publisher Info. In addition, create a folder on your computer—put it there as well. If you lose it, you will create a giant headache as you start through the labyrinth of “what do I do now?” nightmare.
If you have an existing account, click on the first option:
- Preassigned Control Number Program-Publishers
Click on the underlined Link: Prepub Book Link live
Then click on the appearing underlined link: Author/Self Publisher’s Portal.
An Author/Self Publisher form will appear. It will require a User Name and Password. Obtain them from your previous application and log in.
Then follow the instructions that surface on the screen.
The sage author gets an LCCN for each book created.
Dr. Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and inspiration book coach. She is the author of 37 multi-award books that have earned over 40 national book awards. Judith has guided over 1,000 authors in creating their books, earned in excess of $3,000,000 in speaking fees based on her books and gathered over $2,000,000 in onsite book sales at her speaking gigs. Her book, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech flips a difficult topic into a simple and easily comprehensible plan. If you want to get into speaking, this is the guide that will be the game-changer to success. And, if you want to know more about Judith’s life, her book of “hope” is When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present. You can get it HERE.
Listen to The Book Shepherd’s weekly podcast: AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing.
Check the Events tab on The Book Shepherd for Judith’s annual Speaking Unplugged, Book Publishing Unplugged, and Book Marketing Unplugged.