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Frequently Asked Questions About Copyright,
ISBN, Bar Code, CIP and Other Important Minutiæ

Copyright, ISBN, bar code, Legal Deposit, CIP and Other Minutiæ
Do I need to copyright my book?
Generally, a book is automatically copyrighted as soon as it is written. However, it may be a good idea to request a copyright for around $35 CAD in the event of a legal dispute. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office offers a free beginner’s guide that may be obtained by phone 819-997-1936 or click
Many publishers enquire about the relationship copyright has to legal deposit. In Canada, copyright is covered by a separate program or statute from that of legal deposit. Depositing with LAC does not represent copyright protection. For information on copyright in Canada, visit or phone 819.997.1936.
American authors can contact the U.S. Copyright Office at 202-707-3000 or A good primer on U.S. Copyright basics is located here. Concise instructions for registration of literary works, including useful links and defintions, are here or download the long form and instructions (Form TXi) for literary works here. Learn more about mandatory legal deposit requirements for copyright materials here. Check on current fees here. You can also review a comprehensive list of all the US Copyright Office forms here.
When the Legal Deposit Requirement in the United States Applies to Foreign Works
Although the deposit requirements are limited to works published in the United States, they do apply to a work that was first published in a foreign country as soon as that work is published in the United States through the distribution of copies or phonorecords that are either imported or are part of an American edition.
Copyright page conventions in the Front Matter
As well, you’ll need to add a copyright page to the front matter of your manuscript. You’ve seen these on the reverse side of the title page. The copyright page contains the copyright statement (your name, the year and the copyright symbol ©), CIP cataloguing information, any applicable credits (photos, illustrations, design, photography, layout, printing), an "all rights reserved" statement, and contact information for the publisher and distributor.
Do I need an ISBN number?
Yes. All books published and sold require an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). This unique 10-digit number (changing to 13 digits in January 2007) marks your book unmistakably. It is used on all published material and is good for books in print, books sold in bookstores or books distributed to libraries.
An ISBN number is useful for general ease in classification, retrieval and inventory. It may not be necessary if you are printing only a limited number of copies of, say, a family genealogy for distribution only among your family members. American authors can learn more at Canadian authors can learn more about ISBN at Collections Canada. The explanatory notes for the ISBN application form is a great primer for first time authors. A more complete ISBN Users' Manual is available from in both html and pdf. Authors in the UK can contact the International ISBN Agency at or phone +44 (0) 207 607 0021 in London. A good starting point for International authors is at
CreateBooks ISBN assignment for your book project. You can rely on our experience with ISBN assignment, bar codes, CIP, and Legal Deposit in Canada and internationally. While ISBN is an international standard there are some peculiarities in the methods used in different countries. Costs vary in many countries. We can help. Ask your publishing assistant for guidance.
Do I need a bar code?
If you want to sell you book in book stores, you must have a Bookland EAN bar code. This code consists of your ISBN number, the price of the book and currency. You can create your own bar code with proper software or order and ISBN and bar code from CreateBooks. Canadian authors can obtain a list of vendors from the National Library by clicking here. American authors find a partial list of vendors at the Book Industry Study Group. Take the complexity out of the process—order your ISBN assigment and bar code from CreateBooks.
What is Legal Deposit? Do I need to send copies of my book to Collections Canada?
More information on ISBN numbers for Canadian authors is available on the Collections Canada web site or email, phone 819.997.9565. Canadian publishers are required to send copies of their works to Collections Canada in order to preserve Canadian published heritage. will send copies of your book to Collections Canada on your behalf. We must send 2 copies when 101 or more copies are made, 1 copy if more than 3 but less than 101 copies are made, and we are not required to send copies if under 3 copies are made.
In the United States, mandatory legal deposit requirements are specified in the copyright. American authors can learn more in the copyright section, above. The legal deposit requirement is included in our Complete Front Matter Bundle. Costs in the US may be slightly higher due to registration fees at the Library of Congress.
Library of Congress Pre-assigned Card Number Program (PCN)
A Library of Congress catalog card number is a unique identification number that the Library of Congress assigns to the catalog record created for each book in its cataloged collections. Librarians use it to locate a specific Library of Congress catalog record in the national databases and to order catalog cards from the Library of Congress or from commercial suppliers. The Library of Congress assigns this number while the book is being cataloged. Under certain circumstances, however, a card number can be assigned before the book is published through the Preassigned Card Number Program.
Only U.S. book publishers are eligible to participate in the PCN program. These publishers must list a U.S. place of publication on the title page or copyright page of their books and maintain an editorial office in the U.S. capable of answering substantive bibliographic questions. Visit for more information. PCN assignment is available only by special request. Ask your publish assistant for details.
What is the Cataloguing in Publications Program?
The Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) program is a volunteer initiative coordinated by the National Library of Canada to catalogue all books published in the country. Publishers must apply for a CIP number even before the book is published and the CIP number must be printed directly in the book, on the reverse side of your title page. Publishers supply the following information: author name, publisher, and proofs of title page, preface, introduction, table of contents and any publicity material available.
The National Library catalogues this information and quickly distributes it to booksellers and libraries across Canada, making the CIP program an asset to your marketing plan. The CIP number is free and may be obtained through an online application form at Collections Canada. For more information on CIP, check out Collections Canada. The following information is an excerpt.
In the United States, the CIP program is coordinated by the Library of Congress, which catalogues the forthcoming books most likely to be acquired by libraries. For more information or to apply check out the Library of Congress CIP info page.
Benefits of the CIP Programme
The CIP Programme enables publishers to promote their new books by providing booksellers, wholesalers and librarians with advance information they can use to select and purchase new books. The CIP data are also printed in the books themselves and can be used by libraries for cataloguing new acquisitions.
The Canadian CIP Programme is coordinated by Library and Archives Canada and is operated through a network of agent libraries across the country who provide CIP services to the publishers in their respective areas. This decentralization is one of the advantages of the Canadian CIP Programme, for it allows publishers in all parts of the country to receive the prompt attention of their CIP office.
CIP gives the publisher, free of charge, valuable publicity for forthcoming books by distributing the CIP data in a variety of products and utilities. For example, CIP records appear in New Books Service, an on-line service showcasing new Canadian publications. CIP records also appear in the national bibliography Canadiana, on Library and Archives Canada's bibliographic database AMICUS, on magnetic tapes that are exchanged regularly with other national libraries, and in Canadian Books in Print.
Obtaining CIP data for a publication does not create delays in publishing schedules. However, it is important that the CIP office creating the CIP catalogue record be provided with full information on the work being catalogued as far in advance of publication as possible.
The CIP catalogue record is a brief description of a publication. It includes information (such as author(s), title, series title, subject headings, ISBN, ISSN and classification numbers) that is used by book buyers, readers and researchers to identify and locate publications. The record is created and arranged according to internationally established standards which make it possible to distribute information about publications throughout the world.
What is Books in Print?
Books In Print® is a bibliographic reference service used by many booksellers and libraries. The print, CD, or online edition is a dependable reference of authors and book titles. Depending on the ISBN assignment for a particular title, books published in the US are often automatically cited in Books In Print®. Global Books In Print® cites English language books internationally. The Books In Print® service also addresses Spanish language and children's book market segments.
Books In Print® started in 1948 as the index to the Publisher’s Trade Manual. Books In Print was among the first to introduce a CD version in 1986, and the web site,™, followed in 2000. Today, has access to over 5 million U.S. book, audio book and video titles - making it the industry’s largest bibliographic database.™ - with over 9 million titles from the US, Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as™, with over half a million Spanish titles from the US, Canada, Spain and Latin America. Meanwhile, both Children's Books In Print® and the web site,™, are vital resources for any librarian who is looking for the most authoritative database of reading and educational/textbook print and multimedia materials for the children’s and young adult markets.
Visit and follow the links. This information is an excerpt.
What is the Standard Address Number?
SAN is a unique Standard Identification Number for each address of an organization in or served by the publishing industry, which is engaged in repetitive transactions with other members of the industry in order to facilitate communications among them. It is an American National Standard, ANSI/NISO Z39.43-1993.
The objective of this standard is to establish an identification numbering system, by assigning each address within the industry a discrete code to be used for positive identification for all buying and selling transactions within the industry. The use of the SAN significantly reduces the problems faced by other non-standard numbering systems such as billing errors, books shipped to the wrong points, errors in payments and returns.
It is the method used by PUBNET, X*NET and systems and is required in all electronic data interchange communications using the Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee (BISAC) EDI formats.
SAN users include book and journal publishers, wholesalers and distributors, book retailers and college bookstores, libraries, schools and universities, as well as paper and cloth manufacturers, printers and binders and others involved in the manufacturing of books and journals.
This summary description is an excerpt from Get answers to frequently asked questions here. You can download an application form here.
What is an ISSN Number?
ISSN is for Serials. Serials are print or non-print publications issued in parts, usually bearing issue numbers and/or dates. A serial is expected to continue indefinitely. Serials include magazines, newspapers, annuals (such as reports, yearbooks, and directories), journals, memoirs, proceedings, transactions of societies, and monographic series.
International Standard Serial Numbering. The various and constant changes to which serials are subject, combined with the large growth in the world's publishing output, prompted the development of a standard (ISO 3297-1975; ANSI Z39.9-1979) for the identification of serials: the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).
A single ISSN uniquely identifies a title regardless of language or country in which published, without the burden of a complex bibliographic description. The ISSN itself has no significance other than the unique identification of a serial.
An ISSN is eight digits long. Always displayed this way: ISSN 1234-5679, the first seven digits serve as the title number and the eighth is a check digit which provides an efficient means for discovering transcription errors. The system used for calculating the check digit sometimes requires a check number of 10, in which case, to prevent a nine-digit ISSN, the roman numeral "X" is substituted.
For each serial with an ISSN there is a corresponding "key title"--a commonly acceptable form of the title established at the time of ISSN assignment. The title provides a benchmark which serves to regulate the assignment of ISSN: if the title of a serial changes, a new ISSN must be assigned.
Administration of ISSN. The coordination of the ISSN is international, with registration initiated at the national level where serials are published. The National Serials Data Program (NSDP) within the Library of Congress is the U.S. Center of the ISSN Network. The ISSN International Centre located in Paris coordinates the network. NSDP is responsible for registering and providing ISSN for serials published in the United States and for promoting use of the ISSN.
Advantages of Use. The ISSN should be as basic a part of a serial as the title. The advantages of using it are abundant and the more the number is used the more benefits will accrue.
ISSN provides a useful and economical method of communication between publishers and suppliers, making trade distribution systems faster and more efficient.
The ISSN results in accurate citing of serials by scholars, researchers, abstracters, and librarians.
As a standard numeric identification code, the ISSN is eminently suitable for computer use in fulfilling the need for file update and linkage, retrieval, and transmittal of data.
ISSN is used in libraries for identifying titles, ordering and checking in, and claiming serials.
ISSN simplifies interlibrary loan systems and union catalog reporting and listing.
The U.S. Postal Service uses the ISSN to regulate certain publications mailed at second-class and controlled circulation rates.
The ISSN is an integral component of the journal article citation used to monitor payments to the Copyright Clearance Center Inc.
All ISSN registrations are maintained in an international data base and are made available in the ISDS Register, a microfiche publication which is scheduled to cease in the near future, or in "ISSN Compact," a CD-ROM. These products are described in a document maintained by the ISSN International Centre.
How to Obtain ISSN
Instructions for US publishers
The assignment of the ISSN is free in the U.S. and there is no charge associated with its use. (However, the Library of Congress incurs substantial costs to staff and maintain the US ISSN Center. Additionally, the Library of Congress is assessed a considerable fee to belong to the ISSN Network.)
An ISSN application form may be completed online. Enter the required information and then print the form. Mail the application by U.S. mail or private carrier. A suitable representation of the publication must accompany the application. For print serials a sample issue or photocopy of the title page, cover, or masthead should be provided. For electronic serials in a tangible form such as CD-ROM or floppy disk, an actual issue and printouts of title screens should be submitted. For online serials, provide an appropriate URL or e-mail actual issues or mock-ups which will accompany the application form to You may also fax the application 202-707-6333 or email it, but in the interests of conserving paper and bandwidth, please limit faxes or email attachments to no more than five pages.
When requesting an ISSN for an already-published serial, send NSDP a sample issue or copy of the cover, title page, and masthead as appropriate.
Except for microform reproductions, separate ISSN are generally required for serials issued in different physical formats, (e.g., print, CD-ROM, online, etc.). Separate ISSN are also required for serials issued in different language, geographic, or audience editions. Please complete a separate application form for each edition or note the different editions in the "Additional information, comments, questions" section of the application form.
For prepublication requests, a mock-up or artist's conception of the same identifying parts of the publication should be sent, if possible. In these "v. 1, no. 1" cases, a follow-up sample issue or surrogate of the actual serial must be sent directly to NSDP after publication has begun.
To fulfill its purpose, the ISSN should be displayed prominently on every issue, preferably in the top right corner of the cover. It is acceptable, however, for the number to appear elsewhere on the publication (usually in the masthead area). Various user groups - particularly the U.S. Postal Service - have specific printing regulations which must be adhered to.
If the serial has an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for the individual volumes within a series, in addition to the ISSN for the series as a whole, the two numbers should appear together, each with its own prefix. The ISSN should be printed right after the title of the series, both in books and in advertising pieces.
It is appropriate for both ISBN and ISSN to be assigned to certain other types of publications, most notably annuals and other directories or reference publications. The ISBN identifies the particular year or edition, the ISSN identifies the ongoing serial.
ISSN should appear on publisher's advertisements (both direct mail and space adds) and catalogs, on the serials themselves, and in all other places where details of books and serials normally appear. This summary is an excerpt from the US ISSN Information Centre. Visit the US ISSN Information Centre and follow the links.
What is Ulrich's Periodicals Index?
Ulrich’s, as it is commonly known, is a global and authoritative bibliographic reference and serials management tool used extensively by academic library staff, faculty and students, staff and patrons in public and special libraries, publishers, subscription agencies, corporations, and researchers worldwide.
Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory™ is a bibliographic database providing detailed, comprehensive, and authoritative information on serials published throughout the world. It covers all subjects, and includes publications that are published regularly or irregularly and are circulated free of charge or by paid subscription. Ulrich’s was first published in 1932. It was known initially as "Periodicals Directory: A Classified Guide to a Selected List of Current Periodicals Foreign and Domestic." This title continued through the third edition published in 1938. Then, with the 4th edition (1943), the title became Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory: A Selected Guide to Current Periodicals, Inter-American Edition (with a focus on non-European titles because of the difficulty in getting information during WWII).
From 1943-1965, the title was Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory. Then, with the 11th edition in 1965, it became known as Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory, the title it held until the publication of the 39th edition in 2000, when it reverted to an earlier title, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory. It also incorporated Irregular Serials and Annuals in 1988. Whatever the name or the scope, Ulrich’s remains the global source for periodicals information since 1932.
Visit Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory and follow the links. This information is an excerpt.

"...First time publishers sometimes have difficulties making a distinction between the publisher and others involved in the production of a book and in determining the name they will use as publisher." - ISBN Application Form Explanatory Notes, Library and Archives Canada
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