Aren’t Copyrights and LCCNs Free? No and Yes.

My publisher wants to charge me extra to register my copyright and to obtain a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN). Aren’t those free?


If you are self-publishing, or hiring a publishing service, you should NOT allow them to register your copyright. If you are paying someone to publish your book, NEVER give up any rights to your book, and never allow them to register your copyright in their name. They’re just going to jack up the price on you anyway. Obtain your own copyright HERE. The cost is only $35 for online filing.

The Library of Congress Catalog Number (LCCN) is a unique identification number the Library of Congress assigns to the catalog record created for each book in its cataloged collections. Librarians often use it to locate a specific book (though they use other resources as well). LCCNs are FREE.

You can find information on how to obtain LCCNs here:

NOTE: The site says you must be a “publisher” to obtain LCCNs but, if you are self-publishing and retaining all rights to your book, you ARE your own publisher. None of our authors has ever been denied their own LCCN when they’ve applied directly and they usually get very fast turn-around (less than a week).

Angela Hoy is the co-owner of and BookLocker. is the free marketing ezine for writers that features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday., an independing print-on-demand and ebook publishing service, is rated “Outstanding” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.