Falcon Books Self Publishing ...............Self-publishing specialists
Securing Your ISBN

The International Standard Book Number is a thirteen-digit numeral which unmistakably identifies the title, edition, binding and publisher of a given work. It is a handy sales tool, as it provides the basis for identifying books in many bookstore chains and most wholesalers and distributors.

The ISBN system is run by the R.R. Bowker Company not by a government agency and they are usually very efficient. All you have to do is apply on-line at www.MyIdentifiers.com.

Standard Book Numbering Agency
R.R. Bowker Company
121 Chanlon Rd.

New Providence, NJ 07974


Jen Riley
Executive Assistant

If you wish, Falcon Books will apply for ISBN's in your name. There is a service charge for this service.

Once you receive your numbers, assign a number to each title in each binding (hardbound, paperback, and e-book). Then place the number on the copyright page and on the outside back cover of your book (usually with the bar code). The number appears in the ebook without the barcode.(See Bar Code below)

Important: The ABI form must be completed by the publisher for each title, so that it can be listed in "Books in Print"--the Directory which distributors, wholesalers, and book stores use to order copies of the book.

Library of Congress

Cataloging in Publication Program (CIP) and Catalog Card Number

A Library of Congress catalog card number is a unique identification number that the Library of Congress assigns to the catalog record created for each book in its cataloged collections. Librarians 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 from commercial suppliers. The Library of Congress assigns this number while the book is being cataloged. Under certain circumstances, however, a card number can be assigned before the book is published through the Preassigned Card Number Program (PCN).

Without this data your book could sit in a library for several months before personnel know how to log it or where to put it. By participating in CIP, you will be provided pertinent information that can be printed right on the copyright page of your book. If however, your material is in booklet form under fifty pages, light fiction or poetry, the CIP program is not for you: librarians don’t need CIP data for these.

If the CIP Program is appropriate for your material, you start the procedure rolling by writing to:

Library of Congress
Cataloging in Publication Division
COLL/CIP (4320)
Washington, DC 20450-4320

Contact their site: http://loc.gov/publish/pcn/

As a publisher you will be expected to submit a special Library of Congress Cataloging Data Sheet together with information on each book several months prior to its publication. They prefer to receive the whole manuscript, but usually a copy of the table of contents and introduction, plus any promotional material, gives them what they need to draw from.

Your Library of Congress catalog card number will be assigned. It should appear on the copyright page of your book and in reviews. This number allows subscribers to the Library of Congress catalog service to order cards by number and eliminate a search fee. Approximately twenty thousand libraries belong. If you plan to sell to libraries, you must have an LOC number.


We suggest that you register a copyright for your book. This may be done while the book is still in manuscript form or after the book is in print. To register a manuscript, send form, fee and ONE copy of the unpublished manuscript to the Library of Congress. To register a published book, send form, fee and TWO copies of the printed and bound book to the LOC. For a small fee, Falcon Books will take care of copyright registry for your manuscript or printed book or you may choose to do this yourself.

IMPORTANT: Application for registration of copyright can be started at any time, even while the book is being printed. It is important, however, to have the requisite copyright notice and publishing information on the title page and in the correct form.

Copyright Office
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20559

Request Copyright Form TX. Fill out the form and send two copies of the book to the Copyright Office along with a fee. It will take up to 90 days for them to issue a certificate of copyright. Contact the U.S. Copyright Office for more information.

Bar Code for ISBN

Once you have received your set of ISBN’s from Bowker and have assigned a number to your book, put the ISBN on the copyright page and back cover. To make the number most useful to bookstores, the ISBN should also be represented in bar code format on the back cover. Falcon Books can provide a tested bar code for your book.

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Updated 3/8/2013