BOOK PUBLISHING FAQs

Below are FAQ's or "Frequently Asked Questions" about publishing a book and getting ISBN numbers, LCCN numbers, the PCN Program, Copyright, CIP or Cataloguing In publication Data, EAN Bar Codes, UPC Bar Codes, BIP (Books In Print) and Bowkerlink. Much of this information is also covered in detail in the Free Smart Start Kit and in our Preliminaries Kit.

If you have a publishing question, send it to us and we'll answer it or send you a link to a resource about your topic. The most frequently asked questions will be posted here -- so check before you send one.


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Publishing Logistics & Preliminaries

What are "publishing logistics and preliminaries"?
These are tasks publishers or writers must accomplish to legitimize their work and publish it in the marketplace. Tasks include; getting ISBN and SAN numbers from the Bowker agency, getting Library of Congress LCCN or PCN and CIP information ascribed to a book, listing a new title in BIP with an ABI form, getting barcodes and much more.

>>Also see Links to Agencies
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Can you list all the publisher numbers and info that I need to get in the order I need to get them?
Asterisked items are only optional but a good idea.

  1. Namecheck*
  2. Business License*
  3. WGA Registration*
  4. Trademark*
  5. ISBN
  6. SAN*
  7. ABI or
  8. Bowkerlink Registration
  9. PCN (LCCN)
  10. CIP or P-CIP
  11. ABI Completed or BIP Add/Update
  12. Copyright*
  13. EAN Barcode
  14. UPC Code*

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What is an ISBN number?
International Standard Book Number is a number issued by the R.R. Bowker Agency that is used to classify and track a given title. Essentially, if you don't have this number, you'll be unable to enter your book into the marketplace. Most bookstore chains, wholesalers, and distributors track titles solely with the 10-digit ISBN. It is placed on the publications page of your book and within the EAN Barcode on the back cover. Formerly, it was also placed on the spine. It is also used in all of your marketing and promotional material and all of your communications.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see R.R. Bowker

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What is an SAN number?
Standard Address Number is a number issued by the R.R. Bowker Agency that is used by the industry  -- wholesalers, distributors, directories, and retailers -- to ensure communication, ordering, shipping, and invoicing are all sent to the correct address. It is placed on the publications page of your books and used in your communications.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see R.R. Bowker

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What is the ABI Form
The Advance Book Information form is quickly becoming obsolete now that Bowker's Book In Print (BIP) and its Add/Update Feature is available online. However, it used to be (and still is sometimes) that a hardcopy ABI form was sent to ISBN applicants. Upon completion of the hardcopy form, it was filed with the R.R. Bowker Data Collection Agency when the ISBN was ascribed to a title. The ABI form ensures a title will be listed in Forthcoming BIP and BIP. In short, it makes the title available to the industry. Vital information about your book and its audience is listed on the form. As mentioned, today's version of the ABI is the Add/Update feature of online Books In Print. With Add/Update, your book's vital record can be added and updated so that it is available to BIP.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see R.R. Bowker

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I'm confused... do I send in the ABI form WITH my ISBN application or after?
Both. Yes... both. As mentioned, if you requested the hardcopy ISBN application, you may get a blank ABI form with that ISBN application form. You are required to fill out the top part of the ABI and send it in with your completed ISBN application. When you get your ISBN numbers, you'll complete the ABI form with your new ISBN and send it to the Data Collection address. If you have applied online for your ISBNs, then you may not recieve the ABI form at all and you will be directed to BIP's Add/Update instead.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see R.R. Bowker

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Do I need anything else for the ABI?
Yes... you'll also need to procure your LCCN number through the Library of Congress's PCN Program. See LCCN and PCN below.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see R.R. Bowker

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What is BIP
Book In Print and Forthcoming Books In Print are listings of every title available (via the ABI) to distributors, retailers, wholesalers, libraries, and more. Prospective buyers use it as a resource to find new titles -- especially those listed in Forthcoming BIP

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see R.R. Bowker

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What is BowkerLink
BowkerLink is the online application for registering your publisher and title information so that it is visible to Books In Print. The Add/Update feature is essentially the old ABI form and is used to enter data into the vital records of your titles and publishing company.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see R.R. Bowker

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What is an LCCN Number?
It is the Library of Congress Control Number. The name refers to the number that the Library of Congress issues to reference a title in their CIP system. It is issued at the time CIP information is ascribed to a title. See CIP below. The number is placed on the copyright page of your book, on your marketing and promo material, and in your communications.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see R.R. Bowker

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What is Cataloging-in-Publication Data or CIP?
The Library of Congress's CIP program classifies published material according to their qualifications and categories. If you look on the copyright page of many books published by commercial publishers, you may see classification and publication information under the heading Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. This is data that reviewers and libraries use to categorize and shelve your book. It is essential if you are going to sell your book to the library. However, as quirky as this sounds, self-publisher's are ineligible to participate. For a better understanding why, see the next question. The information is placed on the publications page of your book. It is also quite helpful in your marketing materials.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see LOC

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I'm self-publishing and libraries are likely to purchase my book... so why can't I use the CIP Program?
Here is the Library of Congress's own explanation: "Only U. S. publishers who publish titles that are likely to be widely acquired by U.S. libraries are eligible to participate in the CIP program. Book vendors, distributors, printers, production houses and other intermediaries are ineligible. Self-publishers (i.e. authors and editors who pay for or subsidize publication of their own works) and publishers who publish the works of only one author are ineligible. Publishers ineligible for the CIP program may be eligible for the Preassigned Card Number Program. [PCN]" For an explanation of the PCN Program, see the next question.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see LOC

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What is the Preassigned Card Number or PCN Program?
The purpose of the Preassigned Card Number (PCN) program is to enable the Library of Congress to assign LCCN numbers in advance of publication to those titles that may be added to the Library's collections later. The publisher prints the card number in the book and thereby facilitates cataloging and other book processing activities. The PCN is a control number. It links the book to any record which the Library of Congress, other libraries, bibliographic utilitites, or book vendors may create. The LCCN number is placed on the publications page of your book, on your marketing and promo material, and in your communications.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see LOC

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Is the LCCN the same as the CIP info?
No. The LCCN number is separate from the actual Cataloging-in-Publication data, whether acquired from the CIP Program or the PCN program. Both items are placed on the publications page of your book, on your marketing and promo material, and in your communications LCCN is issued along with CIP when going through teh CIP program. It is issued separately form CIP when going through the PCN

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see LOC

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I got my LCCN number through the PCN program. Now, how do I get Cataloging-in-Publication data?
You can contact pay for the Publisher's Cataloging in Publication (P-CIP) service from Quality Books. This service supplies you with industry-accepted cataloging data in traditional format for libraries. Do this before the printing of your book so that the info can be placed on the title page. The P-CIP information and the LCCN number are placed on the publications page of your book, and my be used in your marketing promo material.

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
>>Also see LOC 
>>Also see Quality Books

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What is a BISAC code? Do I need one?
The book retailing industry relies on the Book Industry Study Group's (BISG) Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee's (BISAC) Subject Headings for merchandising categorization.These are “literal ”categories describing the topical content of a book in just a few standard words and are accompanied by a corresponding 9-character code.Many retailers and distributors require the BISAC. It should be printed on the back cover of your book. Choose your subject heading carefully.You might want to enlist the help of your local bookstore, or contact your distributor.You may have more than one category per book if it is cross merchandised..

>>See ISBN, LCCN, etc.Help! 
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Additional Helps

Understanding Your Publishing Options
This foundational seminar was given at the Sandy Cove Christian Communicators Conference 2003. Covers the four major types of publishing — their processes, who should use them, the pros & cons of each, the bewares, and how-to-go-about-it.

>>60-Minute Audio Tape......$14.95
>>PDF Seminar....$14.95
>>Get both and follow along for......$24.95
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What Is Publishing: A Primer
This seminar was developed for the Baltimore Writer's Alliance Annual Conference. Similar to the Publishing Options, it explains the four major types of publishing. Then it covers what is involved in the publishing process. Examines getting started, writing and editing, submission, distribution, promotion, and PR.

>>PDF Seminar....$9.95
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The ABCs & XYZs of Self Publishing
This fun and in-depth seminar was given at the SPAN 2003 BookPublish Conference in LA. Covers ALL processes in preparing to publish. Preparing to publish, developing your topic, producing your book, preparing for marketing, promotion, sales and distribution. Presents the process in a methodical approach.

>>60-Minute Audio Tape......$14.95
>>PDF Seminar....$14.95
>>Get both and follow along for......$24.95
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Is Self Publishing For You? Doing it Right; Doing It Well
This elementary seminar was created for the Bay To Ocean Writer’s Conference. It covers the critical considerations in deciding to self publish and discusses the process, how to do it professionally, and why that is important.

>>PDF Seminar....$9.95
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A Smart Start To Independent Publishing
This seminar was given at the Baltimore Writers Alliance Annual Writer's Conference to systematically define the self publishing logistics, production, distribution, reviews, and promotion..

>>PDF Seminar....$9.95
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Publishing... or Death? What You Don't Know About Publishing on Demand Will Kill You
This lively seminar was presented at the Sandy Cove Christian Communicators Conference 2003. Covers the pros & cons of Online POD Publishing. Looks at this specific model of publishing to determine if it is commercially viable. Is this fast and easy route right for your commercial success? Or will you be shunned by the booktrade?! Find out....

>>60-Minute Audio Tape......$9.95
>>PDF Seminar....$9.95
>>Get both and follow along for......$14.95
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DISCLAIMER: This information is the opinion of Pneuma Books, LLC and is presented for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of legal, financial, or other professional counsel. Individuals should consult an attorney, accountant, and additional publishing consultants for specific applications to their individual publishing or writing ventures. Individuals should always gather and consider more than one source of information in order to make well-informed decisions. Pneuma Books, LLC reserves the right to decline and or rescind any free offer at anytime for any reason. Free offers by Pneuma Books are not a contractual obligation between any party and Pneuma Books, LLC. Pneuma Books, LLC is under no contractual obligation to provide any free goods or services of any kind to anyone for any reason at anytime. Pneuma Books, LLC specializes in reviewing, critiquing, and producing mostly nonfiction books of a traditional and conservative nature. This may include: business books; books on finance; how-to books and handbooks; traditional self-help; health and fitness; hobby and lifestyle books; educational books; tradeworthy biography and autobiography; history and historical fiction; tradeworthy children's books; and Judeo-Christian devotional and theological books. Pneuma Books, LLC will consider tradeworthy, traditional, conservative fiction. Pneuma Books, LLC reserves the right to decline the review of book projects that are not within our specialty. Pneuma Books, LLC reserves the right to reject any manuscript for any reason.


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Pneuma Books is not a Publisher, Subsidy Publisher, Vanity Press, POD, or Book Printer. Pneuma Books is a Book Producer. Pneuma Books does not issue ISBN numbers.

 


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