Author Topic: Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCN) - Needed for Library Sales?  (Read 351 times)

Tom Wood

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There's this article:

https://authoru.org/authors-how-to-get-your-lccn-library-of-congress-number.html

Wherein she starts with:
Quote
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.
(my emphasis)

As an Indie, you register your imprint in the PCN registry, and then apply for the PCN/LCCN:

http://www.loc.gov/publish/pcn/faqs/

They do give you a LCCN, but the book still has to be accepted into the LOC to be available through the inter-library lending system. Or at least that's how I interpreted it.

In any case, the PCN/LCCN has to be applied for BEFORE publishing, and you must use your own ISBN.

Is NOT doing this a barrier to getting into libraries?
 

ilamont

Re: Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCN) - Needed for Library Sales?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2018, 05:56:51 AM »
I think having an LCCN or even better a CIP block will not only help with libraries, but also the wholesalers and other channels that sell to them, such as Baker & Taylor.

Good luck!
I am the author of Lean Media: How to focus creativity, streamline production, and create media that audiences love. Lean Media website, Lean Media blog. I am also the publisher of IN 30 MINUTES guides.

Follow me on Twitter at @ilamont.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCN) - Needed for Library Sales?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2018, 01:14:34 AM »
I'd be a little concerned about long the process takes, since it has to happen before publication. A several month delay would wreak havoc on a lot of indie publishing schedules. (I have no experience with the LCCN process, but the Copyright Office is getting progressively slower. I think none of these offices have gotten expanded personnel to deal with the expanded workload.)

It's also worth noting that many librarians just aren't interested in self-published books. The people I know who have books in libraries have them in local libraries where they personally pitched the librarian. Librarians (if they still have a budget for it) spend a lot of time on new acquisitions, but they obviously don't read every book that comes out (or listen to every indie pitch). Many are reliant on reviews by organizations that typically don't review self-published books. Many still use publishing status as a screening mechanism.

In other words, I'd do some research on how long the process takes and how much of your time and money goes into it before making the jump. It would also be nice to hear if anyone has before and after stories. ("I got that LCCN, and those library sales started pouring in.") I'm sure the people who do get library placements probably have an LCCN, but I'd like to see more evidence that getting an LCCN has a positive effect on library sales for the average author.


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Tom Wood

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Re: Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCN) - Needed for Library Sales?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2018, 01:28:32 AM »
I have only a partial experience with regard to the time it takes to go through the process. The website says it can take up to two weeks to register an imprint. For me, last month, it took about three hours to register my imprint when using the PCN website process. Scheduling the registration of the book itself two weeks in advance of publication doesn't seem like much of a hardship, especially if they are faster and more responsive than their generic timeline.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCN) - Needed for Library Sales?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2018, 04:20:53 AM »
I have only a partial experience with regard to the time it takes to go through the process. The website says it can take up to two weeks to register an imprint. For me, last month, it took about three hours to register my imprint when using the PCN website process. Scheduling the registration of the book itself two weeks in advance of publication doesn't seem like much of a hardship, especially if they are faster and more responsive than their generic timeline.
Yes, that sounds encouraging. I guess the processing is much less elaborate than the copyright application.


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guest840

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Re: Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCN) - Needed for Library Sales?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2018, 08:21:32 AM »
I'd be a little concerned about long the process takes, since it has to happen before publication. A several month delay would wreak havoc on a lot of indie publishing schedules. (I have no experience with the LCCN process, but the Copyright Office is getting progressively slower. I think none of these offices have gotten expanded personnel to deal with the expanded workload.)

It's also worth noting that many librarians just aren't interested in self-published books. The people I know who have books in libraries have them in local libraries where they personally pitched the librarian. Librarians (if they still have a budget for it) spend a lot of time on new acquisitions, but they obviously don't read every book that comes out (or listen to every indie pitch). Many are reliant on reviews by organizations that typically don't review self-published books. Many still use publishing status as a screening mechanism.

In other words, I'd do some research on how long the process takes and how much of your time and money goes into it before making the jump. It would also be nice to hear if anyone has before and after stories. ("I got that LCCN, and those library sales started pouring in.") I'm sure the people who do get library placements probably have an LCCN, but I'd like to see more evidence that getting an LCCN has a positive effect on library sales for the average author.

It typically takes a week or less. The last one I applied for was emailed to me the same day. All of my books are available in multiple libraries across the country (you can search WorldCat to see what libraries are carrying your books). And it's free - no charge to apply for a LCCN.
 

Tom Wood

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Re: Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCN) - Needed for Library Sales?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2018, 09:55:59 AM »
...

It typically takes a week or less. The last one I applied for was emailed to me the same day. All of my books are available in multiple libraries across the country (you can search WorldCat to see what libraries are carrying your books). And it's free - no charge to apply for a LCCN.

Did you use the PCN process, and was getting the LCCN the end of your process, or did you do more to get your books into WorldCat?
 

guest840

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Re: Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCN) - Needed for Library Sales?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2018, 10:41:13 AM »
...

It typically takes a week or less. The last one I applied for was emailed to me the same day. All of my books are available in multiple libraries across the country (you can search WorldCat to see what libraries are carrying your books). And it's free - no charge to apply for a LCCN.

Did you use the PCN process, and was getting the LCCN the end of your process, or did you do more to get your books into WorldCat?

Yes, I went through the PCN process, and no, I haven't done anything else to get my books into libraries except sign my ebooks up for distribution through Library Journal's Self-e subsidiary. Many, but not all, of my ebooks are also in libraries.

Edit to add: I just checked WorldCat for my first novel. The paperback is in 33 libraries across the country, and the ebook is in 38.
 
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