Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Writing & Publishing / Advice / How to Get a CIP or PCIP
How to Get a CIP or PCIP
Quality Books, Inc. (a book distributor) has a cataloging section that will prepare a "Publishers
Cataloging-in-Publication" (PCIP) data block. Cassady Cataloging is another source for PCIP
data. Both of these are commercial services that prepare PCIP data for a fee. You can Google for
their URLs. Both offer forms online to help you submit information necessary for the CIP
All the larger library systems have "Cataloging Librarians" to maintain their catalog data base.
Often, these librarians will, for a modest fee, prepare PCIP data. All librarians are trained in
cataloging (it's at the heart of what librarians do), so you can sometimes find a librarian willing to
prepare the CIP data for you, again for a modest fee and sometimes (if you're a friend) for
Note that in all these cases, you must label the data (usually printed on the copyright page of your
book) as "Publishers Cataloging-In-Publication". Only CIP data received from the Library Of
Congress may be labeled "Library of Congress Cataloging-In-Publication."
The LoC has restrictive rules to limit demand for their CIP services. First time publishers and
publishers publishing their own work are usually precluded from the LoC CIP program.
If you get a Preassigned Control Number (the LCCN) for a book, you are specifically excluded
from using the CIP service for the same book. (The LoC CIP service also assigns the
If you're using one of the commercial services or a more informal arrangement with a librarian,
you should obtain a PCN before obtaining the CIP data.
The CIP data "goes with the book" so it is not necessarily publisher specific. However, each
edition of a book will need some modification to the CIP data. If you've obtained the original data
from a commercial service, you should remove their identity from subsequent use of the CIP data
(in subsequent editions) unless you obtain an update from the commercial service. When you issue
a new edition, you should, at the very least, discuss the CIP data with a qualified, trained*
Librarian, as there are small changes required in the CIP data to reflect the edition, although the
basic cataloging information would (usually) remain the same.
* With due respect to my librarian friend who vehemently maintains that, "Librarians aren't
'trained'; they are 'educated!'"
Aeonix Publishing Group - Publishing Production and Consulting
Author: Book Design and Production: A Guide for Authors and Publishers
Voice & FAX: (510) 222-6743 -- 9AM to 5PM M-F Pacific Time
Visit my web site at http://www.aeonix.com for publishing hints
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James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
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