After running around in circles for a couple of days trying to figure out where to apply for what and in what order, I think I’ve finally managed to get some of this figured out! Here are some step-by-step instructions I’ve compiled to help other self-publishers navigate the various registration requirements in the most efficient order. I haven’t quite gotten through all these steps yet (and there are probably more yet to be discovered!), but once I have printed copies of my book in hand I should be able to finish up the last of these.
1. Go to the ISBN Website and apply for a block of ISBNs.
2. Upon receiving your block of ISBNs, follow the instructions in the e-mail to print and assign your book title to one of the numbers.
3. Go to the Bookland Website and use the free bar code generator to generate a bar code for your book. Download and save both the .EPS and the .PDF files to your computer. (Incorporate this into the final book design.)
4. Go to the Bowker Link Website and enter the username and password contained in the e-mail with the ISBNs. Once you are logged in, click the “Add Title” button and enter the information for your book.
5. Go to the Library of Congress Website and apply to participate in the Library of Congress Preassigned Card Number (PCN) program.
6. Upon receiving the e-mail indicating that you have been accepted into the PCN program, go to the PCN area of the Library of Congress Website and login with the username and password provided in the e-mail. Complete the application process by filling in the forms.
7. Wait 2-3 business days and go back to Bowker Link and upload a cover image to the book information.
8. Upon being accepted into the PCN program, send a copy of the best edition of your book to the Library of Congress at the address listed in the acceptance e-mail.
9. Go to the U.S. Copyright Office Website and you can either fill out an electronic form or download and complete a print form to send in to the office along with two copies of your printed book. (Based on Morris Rosenthal’s experience with the on-line registration process, I may just fork over the extra $10 and go the paper route.)
If anybody knows of anything I’m leaving out so far, please let me know and I’ll update the list!