I know having an ISBN number is important for libraries and retailers to identify your book, but I am not as familiar with LCCN's (Library of Congress Control Numbers).

What is an LCCN? Is it important to have one assigned to my books? If so, what are the benefits of getting one?

(My series is self-published fiction)

  • What has that kind of publishing minutiae to do with Writing, please? Aug 2, 2020 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


This link here explains about the process of obtaining one. It is free and should only take a matter of a couple of days according to the site.

It is used for librarians to be able to look up books in a national database usually in the format of YYYYnnnnnn. Y is the year you received the number and n is the control number that is sequenced during that year. The control number resets at the beginning of each year.

Here is also an Excerpt from a page explaining someone's opinion on the LCCN and it's benefits:

The entire point of having a LCCN is so that libraries can find, and therefore order, your book for their library collection. On the one hand, there are @ 9,000 libraries in the USA and if they all ordered my book, I would be very pleased.

On the other hand, if my book is in the library, then I am not selling more copies even though I am gaining more readers.

So why do I want the LCCN? Because I absolutely love libraries and I want my book in the library because it’s part of my vision of being a writer. A vision of a print book on a library bookshelf – like all those thousands of books from the library shelves throughout my life, since the day I could read.

But besides visions and dreams, having my book in the Library of Congress database is part of the magic of SEO and keyword searchability that is an ongoing, slow process similar to the formation of a coral reef. One coral reeflet is lost in the wide ocean, but over time, the reef can grow until it gains the attention of everyone who passes. These small registry actions I take will accrete over time and make my name more findable, and my books more available.

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