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ISBN, LCN, Copyright

ISBN International Standard Book Number & Bar Code

ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a machine readable identification number that uniquely marks a book. These numbers have been in use for over thirty years in 159 countries and territories. An ISBN number consists of 13 digits, and is broken into four parts: Group, Publisher, Title Identifiers, and Check Digit. The ISBN number makes it possible to immediately identify a book. The ISBN number also allows the creation of a standard bar code known as an EAN (European Article Number) Bookland bar code. Businesses scan in the bar code at the cash register for the retail price when the book is purchased.

How do I obtain an ISBN for my book?
The ISBN can be purchased for a fee. The US agency of R.R. Bowker (630 Central Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974,, (888) 269-5372) provides ISBNs. Contact us for details and download the necessary application forms. [download id=”2″]

How do I obtain a bar code for my book?
Create and copy your own bar code using your ISBN number (to be used for placement purposes in your book only). We will produce the actual bar code for you when we prepare your manuscript for publication.

Create Sample Barcode

Where do I put the ISBN and the bar code in my book?
The ISBN is usually printed on the Copyright page, and on the back cover of the book, above the bar code. The bar code must be printed in black ink on a white background (it must be scan-able). It is usually printed in the lower portion of the back cover.

Library of Congress 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. It is a control number librarians use to locate a specific Library of Congress catalog record in 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, a card number can be assigned before the book is published, through the Preassigned Card Number (PCN) program.

You will need to get a Library of Congress Catalog Card Number if you plan to sell your book to the libraries. However, keep in mind that most libraries prefer to purchase hardcover books rather than the soft cover, perfect-bound book which is used by most self-publishers.

How much does it cost, and how do I get a Library of Congress Catalog Card Number?
There is no charge, but you must apply for a Library of Congress Catalog Card Number. Write to US Copyright Office, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20559-6000, Copyright, (202) 707-3000. Download the application forms: [download id=”3″]

Where do I put the Library of Congress Catalog Card Number in my book?
The Library of Congress Catalog Card Number is usually printed on the Copyright page.


Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available for both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce and sell a literary, artistic, and musical work.

How do I get copyright protection for my book?
Copyright protection begins from the time the work is created in a fixed form. Although it is not required that you register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office to be copyright protected (original works of authorship are automatically protected), there are certain benefits in doing so. To contact: US Copyright Office, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20559-6000. Copyright, (202) 707-3000. Download the application forms: [download id=”4″]

Where do I put the Copyright notice in my book?
The Copyright notice is printed on the Copyright page, which is a separate page after the Title Page.

What goes on the Copyright page?
The Copyright page should include the word “Copyright”. It almost always includes the Copyright symbol “©” after the word “Copyright”, the year the book is published, and the Copyright Notice.

One or more of the following can be included on the Copyright page:

  • Name of the book
  • Publisher (with or without address)
  • Designer of the book
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number
  • (ISBN) International Standard Book Number
  • Country in which the book was printed. (Printed in the United States of America)


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