Who Needs an LCCN?

So, you’ve heard the term LCCN, but you’re not too sure if you need one.

That’s understandable. To determine whether this is something you need – let’s start by defining the acronym. LCCN standards for Library of Congress Control Number. Wait, that’s not a real definition! You’re right – that was fairly vague. The control number is an identification number (similar to the ISBN) that an author acquires before publication. The number is printed on the title page of the book and (traditionally speaking) is often very helpful when marketing your book to libraries.

But do you absolutely need one? The long and short answer is a firm no. Will libraries not accept your books if you don’t have one? Not likely. It’s very true that libraries very rarely “order” self-published books. Does that mean you should you take libraries off your radar? Not necessarily – there are still more creative ways that you can include libraries in your book promotion strategy. You can donate a copy (or copies) of your book. You can host book readings at your library. The possibilities are essentially limitless, but you must be creative and not rely on a library to come after you.

Have any of your included the library in your overall marketing plan? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

6 thoughts on “Who Needs an LCCN?

  1. Didn’t I recently hear rumblings about an Amazon/libraries partnership? At this point that’s my only hope for getting my current books into a library. Libraries, while I love them, seem like a huge hurtle in distribution. Thanks for the info though!

  2. A lot of children that read these books at the libraries, bring them home for their parents to read and want their own copy of the book. Most parents go out and buy it. For adults, the book being in the library interests them in your other work and the next time they are in the book store or searching online and see your next book, they’ve “tried out” your book for free at the library and know what to expect in the second book, therefore resulting in sales. Look ahead, it’s still advertising. Good luck!

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