Ask Tania: What is the importance of registering your book for CiP?

Monday, 2 June 2014

Dear Tania,
When self-publishing, what is the importance of registering your book for CiP with the National Library of Australia, and will it help promote my book? 

Hi, Jaq!

CiP - or Cataloguing-in-Publication - is pretty much vital for all published works--whether self-published or traditionally-published. It's a free service offered by the National Library of Australia and is perfect for book promotion, as it's an opportunity to have your work catalogued and made available to libraries, booksellers and the general public.

CiP contains information on your book - essentially its publication data. This includes the creator/s, book title, target audience, the ISBN, the book's subject matters, any Dewey numbers and copyright information (post-Legal Deposit--see below). The CiP data itself is not editable. It is placed on what's known as the 'imprint page', along with other more editable data such as the publisher's details, typesetting and printing details, cover images, design, paper and editing information, and printing details and editions.

To be eligible for CiP, your book must be published in Australia, it must be relevant to a wide audience, and should contain material that would make it likely to be acquired by Australian libraries.

You will also need to send your book to the National Library, and your state library, for Legal Deposit. This is a requirement, under the Copyright Act of 1968, for any printed work published in Australia. Along with CiP data, this is what 'publishes' your book.

You need an ISBN before applying for your CiP. Every country has their own ISBN provider, and in Australia this is currently Thorpe Bowker, who can also provide affordable bar codes, which contain your ISBN (avoid going through private companies for these, as they can charge too much).

Once you have your ISBN, you can apply for your CiP data online here. It takes 10 working days, sometimes less, for your data to arrive, by email. This data is then typeset into the book (for new self-publishers, I suggest following the layout and positioning trade-publishers use).

Once your book is published, don't forget to add it to Books in Print (a worldwide database).

Also be sure to register as both creator (all types of creator are eligible, not just authors) and publisher for Lending Rights. Both Educational Lending Rights (ELR) and Public Lending Rights (PLR) payments are made annually in recognition of income lost through the free multiple use of books in public and educational lending libraries. When you have multiple books on the shelves, the income from these payments can be tidy indeed (thank you, ASA).

I hope this round of information helps, and my very best wishes for your publishing journey!


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