Authors: How to Get Your LCCN (Library of Congress Number)

                      lccnGet Your LCCN

(Library of Congress Catalog Control Number)


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.

The good news is that these are free (although going through the two steps to get them can sometimes be a pain in the tush.

Here are your steps:

The LCCNThe Library of Congress Control Number. It is free and can be obtained fairly quickly―a week or less― although we’ve received them within just a day or two. You must have your ISBN to get it. Once you have the LCCN, it will cover case bound (hard, paper, eBook)

Beware:  The websites are occasionally updated—changed—so these instructions may also require updating.

It is a two-step process:  

  • Go to Google.
  • Enter: Library of Congress book number and click on Search.   
  • Preassigned Control Number Program will appear. Or go to
  • Click on “Open an Account if appropriate.  Otherwise click on EPCN Login,for an existing account.
  • If “New Account,” read instructions, and then click on “Application to Participate.
  • There is a note at the top, Click here for Instructions,” for assistance.
  • Fill out and click on “Submit.” Within a few days, no more than a week, you will be e-mailed an account number and a password providing you access to the appropriate application form.   

If you have an account already, the “EPCN Login” button brings you to the form requiring your Account ID and Password.  Fill out and click on the “Sign On” button and fill out form.  A final note to those with accounts already: The password expires after 60 days.  A new one can be created using the following instructions.  It must:

  • Be at least eight characters in length;
  • Contain at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one number;
  • Not contain consecutive repeated characters;
  • Be recreated following these steps if you wait to use it over 60 days;
  • Not be changed more than once per day;
  • Not be changed to any of the 11 most recently used passwords.

If the password has expired, just write the old one out and write the new one under it, changing just one of the numbers or letters. Keep a record so that you know what has been changed, thus avoiding repeating the old number by chance.


Your LCCN will come to you via email. Print it out. Put in it a Folder for all your Publisher Info. Create a Folder on your computer—put it there as well.



JB_headshotJudith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd (, an author and book publishing expert and the Founder of Author U (, a membership organization created for the author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 30 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Her latest, Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms is just being released. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Your Guide to Book publishing on the Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook.  If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at


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17 Comments on Authors: How to Get Your LCCN (Library of Congress Number)

  1. hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

    • Judith Briles says:

      Thanks Eli … we will give the webmaster a heads-up about the webhosting. We have so much content on this site that it may slow it a bit … but let’s see if we can give it a goose!

  2. Thank you so much for this! I was a bit confused and having read so much self publishing information, I just needed something simple and straight to the point.

    Take care

    • Judith Briles says:

      You are welcome … it’s a matrix out there! Glad to help. Judith

  3. Mary says:

    Are you able to apply for a LCCN if your book is already published? Thanks.

    • Judith Briles says:


  4. Hello Judith! Thanks for all the help (you just didn’t know it) over the last couple of months. I’ve learned so much and wanted to give back – sooooo…. here is the new link for this article. For an LCCN go to:

    Thanks again,


    • Judith Briles says:

      Thanks Chris … we actually have a printed document with all the info from the link for authors as well. In fact, we are putting together a “goodie” for anyone who signs up for our emails and The Author Resource–they get the Top 5 Publishing Answers all authors want–

  5. Thanks for this easy-to-follow guideline. I received my id and password within a matters of hours. I did have a question. Can a person apply for a LCCN if his/her book is already published?

    • Judith Briles says:

      Yes they can… then when you reprint, put in on the (C) page… add it to your ebook (C) as well.

  6. Thanks for this! I had a service want to charge me $49 for this. I knew – being the Library of Congress – that it would most likely be free to do. So…I sent in and now, I wait…

    • Judith Briles says:

      Good for you Sandra. When you have finished book and you want to register it with the LOC, that will cost you $35 … it’s a totally separate form and something you want to do… this is for “protection” down the road dealing with a published work.

  7. Hello, Dr. Briles,

    Thanks for the very helpful information!

    Just a quick question: the PCN webpage makes mention of “publishers” but not “authors”…moreover, under the “publisher eligibility” link, one criterion is “maintaining an editorial office”…I guess as far as the Library of Congress is concerned, authors and publishers are one and the same???

    • Judith Briles says:

      Jack… I would assume we are the same!

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  9. Okay, Dr. Briles,

    Just got word from a Ms. Gatewood at the Library of Congress who concurs, only that a publishing house must be provided, even if we’re self-publishing!

    Seems odd that the Library of Congress would be fine with a phony company in its records…..

    • Judith Briles says:

      Jack… what’s the name of your publishing house … don’t use your personal name … ______ Press or _____ Publishing. You don’t say you are self-publishing.

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