Book publishing is a lot of work. If you are doing it all yourself, it is more work than what you could imagine. What makes matters worse is it’s hard to find a helpful document that outlines it all for you. This means you spend an enormous amount of time doing research. I’m starting a little series called, “Children’s Book Publishing 101,” which I hope helps you on your journey. Of course, these steps apply not only to publishing a children’s book but publishing any book. Here are the first three things you should start with as you get your children’s book ready to publish.

Book Publishing 101 PT 2

posted in: Self-Publishing | 10

I hope you have finished the first two steps before you tackle this month’s guide to Book
Publishing 101. If you haven’t, go back and review the first steps here:


This month you have a couple more tasks, but it’s not hard.


  1. If your book is close to being done, buy your ISBN numbers. I realize you can publish at some publishing
    houses without having your own ISBN numbers, but I think you should invest in your books, and I think
    having clear identifying numbers that belongs only on your book is one way to do this. Take control of the
    process. Like all areas of self-publishing, you will find many people and companies telling you they will
    help you…for a price. You will even find this when you try to get an ISBN.


ISBN numbers are only dished out at one place in America, so you might as well go straight to that source. You can find it here:


You will need to create your account, and you will need to register your publishing house with them.
The paperwork isn’t too bad, but the ISBNs do cost a lot of money, in my opinion.


2.  At this stage, I want to encourage you to have a website. I am a strong advocate of having a professional
website in today’s day and age. It makes it easy for people to contact you, and you can control the
information you give out to those that want more information about you. I’m not going to go into all the nitty-gritty
of getting a website, but I am going to stress some key aspects.


  • Make it look clean and professional.
  • Keep it updated.
  • Don’t start a blog and abandon it.
  • If you aren’t good with colors, stay neutral.
  • Buy your domain name.
  • Don’t have people contact you with a Yahoo or Hotmail address.
  • Use a good font.
  • Keep up with current web standards and make sure your website looks current.
  • Have a way to contact you on your website.
  • Make sure you respond to emails promptly.
  • Make your art, or buy good stock images, to spiff it up.


  1. It’s time to set up a Library of Congress Control Number. This number shows that you
    exist, and a library will need this number to carry your book.

Go to:


Click—Open an Account


Fill out the form and register to have an account for your publishing house. This way you can edit or
easily apply for another book number in the future. Some printers will take care of this for you—for a price,
but I suggest you do it yourself. It’s free.


They will ask for your website here.


After you are approved, this only took one day for me, you can go into your account and apply for the
control number to add to your book. This information is placed on the same page as the ISBN number,
and they are clear on where to place this information within your book.


Finally, you must send a copy of the book to the CIP Division immediately upon publication.


Send your book to this address:


Library of Congress

US Programs, Law, and Literature Division

Cataloging in Publication Program

101 Independence Avenue, S.E.

Washington, DC 20540-4283


Coming in the fall of 2018, the Library of Congress will launch a PrePub Book Link, which is an
updated pre-publication tool for the book publishing community. So, the process will be slightly different.


You can find more information here:



Once I submitted my application for If Only ~ Biblical Truth for Children, it took three days to get my Library of Congress Control Number.


Next month, we are going to tackle the world of book printers. I, unfortunately, have had a load of problems in this area. Hopefully, I can save you some of the frustrations I dealt with.





10 Responses

  1. Amy

    Thanks for sharing your information. I have had to go to numerous websites to find what you have put in one area. It’s helpful.

  2. David

    I am looking forward to next lesson. I have just started working with printers. Why is it so hard to get good info? I am getting frustrated.

    • L.A. James

      Hi, David,
      I don’t know why it is hard finding good information. I’m sorry about your frustration, but I understand. The annoyance will fade, until you hit the same spot in your next book 🙂

      Keep plugging along.

  3. Justin

    Thank you so much, L.A. for all these links. To have them in one place is super helpful!

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