Library of Congress Control Number

A Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) is an identification number the Library of Congress assigns to the catalog record created for each book in its cataloged collections. Libraries use it to locate a specific Library of Congress catalog record in the national databases and to order catalog cards from the Library of Congress or commercial suppliers.

The Library of Congress reviews thousands of books each year to determine which titles will be added to its collections. Because of the volume, it’s difficult for a self-published book to be chosen; however, some authors like to include the LCCN because it adds credibility to a book.

How LCCN Must Appear

The LCCN must be printed on the copyright page preceded by the words Library of Congress Control Number in this format:

Library of Congress Control Number:
2015012345

A PCN, Preassigned Control Number, enables the Library of Congress to assign control numbers in advance of publication to titles that may be added to the Library’s collections.

How to Apply

The application for a PCN must be submitted before the book is published. A PCN cannot be assigned to a book that has already been published.

Getting a PCN is a two-step process that may take 1–2 weeks, so plan ahead. You must first apply for an account, and then once you are approved, you can apply for a PCN. There is no fee for a PCN. Go to www.loc.gov/publish/pcn to apply online. Do not file under Morris Publishing – use your own name. If you prefer, Morris Publishing can file a PCN for you, for which there is a fee. It will take us 1–2 days to receive since we have an account.

If you file for a number, the Library of Congress will request a complimentary, non-returnable copy of the book upon publication. If Morris Publishing files for you, we will submit the required copy. They will review the copy for the Library's collection. If your book is chosen, it will be cataloged and become part of the catalog record, thereby enabling any librarian, researcher, or bibliographer around the world to obtain the catalog record.

Note: If you want a P-CIP, you must apply for a PCN first.

P-CIP Data

CIP, Cataloging in Publication, is the book data provided to libraries in a format that can easily be entered into a cataloging system. Self-publishers do not qualify for LC-CIP through the Library of Congress. However, authors can receive CIP data prepared by a publishing agent, referred to as P-CIP. If you plan to market your books to libraries, P-CIP data will be needed. You will need a PCN first. It’s an important part of your CIP data. If you only want to get your book into your local library, call them to see if it’s required.

It will take 2–4 weeks to secure P-CIP data, so plan ahead. P-CIP data is required before a book is published because the data must be printed on the copyright page. It cannot be added to previously published books.

Online agents that provide P-CIP data include www.quality-books.com and www.cipblock.com. Applying online will be the fastest method or you can request an application form. Visit the sites to compare services. Costs vary from $60 to $100.