Cataloguing in publication (CiP)

Part 20: learn how to submit your ebook to cataloguing in publication databases.
This article deals specifically with Australian publishing matters. If you are a reader from the United States, a similar scheme is run by the National Library of Congress. Agencies in the United Kingdom and Canada also record CiP details. If readers from elsewhere are aware of CiP programs in their own country, please feel free to add details in the comments. Cheers.

There may be cards here, but every other drawer is full of spiders     (source)

So, what does CiP do?

Cataloguing in publication is a free bibliographic database service run by the National Library of Australia, and which holds records of all books published in Australia, including indie ebooks. The CiP record is added to the Australian National Bibliographic Database, which provides advance notice of new publications to libraries, booksellers and the general public. It’s a step undertaken during the publishing process, as follows:
1. Decide on the book’s title.
2. Assign an ISBN to the book.
3. Submit the book’s details and ISBN to the CiP staff.
4. Continue working on the publishing process during the two week turnaround period.
5. Add the CiP entry to the front or back matter.
6. Publish the book.
The full process to obtain a CiP entry is explained here, and a list of criteria for eligibilty is here. Note that books without an ISBN are ineligible for CiP. In my case, because my Kindle version of Saving Davey Gravy was only assigned an ASIN, it will be ineligible for CiP. When I release an EPUB version with an assigned ISBN, I’ll submit the details to the NLA and update this post.


What is the benefit to indie publishers? There’s not a lot of data available on this. The two main arguments made are:
1. CiP assists industry professionals, especially librarians, to locate details about an author and their books
2. a CiP entry makes the front/ back matter of a book look more professional.
Of course, both of these arguments have much less to do with ebooks than paper books. On the other hand, it’s a small investment in time for possibly increased recognition and sales of your ebook.

Legal deposit

It is a requirement for publishers to deposit a copy of any work published in Australia with the NLA and the state library of your home state. However, at the moment, this does not apply to ebooks, except those published in Western Australia, where the relevant law was modified to include ebooks in late 2012. Staff at the Legal Deposit Unit have informed me that these changes will be introduced in other states in the near future. Some rather terse commentary on the subject is available here.

Proceed to Part 21: ‘Uploading to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, part 1’, or return to the article index.
Return to Re: writing
While I’ve endeavoured to provide you with accurate information, what is considered ‘accurate’ will change over time. If I’m wrong, or you’d like to ask a question or share your thoughts, I’d love to hear your take on things.

Rhys About Rhys

Teacher, writer, editor, cook: a bit like that nursery rhyme, really.
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