Publishing Advice

The new updated edition of Publishing For Success is now available in both print and e-book formats.

Print copies are available within Northern Ireland. Please contact to request a copy or you can  collect a copy at the Linen Hall Library, Belfast or at the Libraries NI Irish and Local Studies Libraries in Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast Central, Downpatrick, Enniskillen, Derry/Londonderry, Newry or Omagh, and also at the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster American Folk Park and at Coleraine Branch Library.

If you prefer an e-book, you can download a pdf version by clicking the book cover image

Alternatively,  here is some information and advice about getting published which we hope you will find useful.


What is an ISBN and do I need one?

An ISBN (International Standard Book Number)is a unique 13-digit identification number assigned to new publications. It should be displayed on the reverse of the title page and on the outside back cover. It is used by booksellers, publishers and libraries for ordering, listing and stock control. Although there is no legal requirement for an ISBN and it conveys no form of legal or copyright protection, it is essential if you want to sell your book through bookshops or online booksellers.

The Neilsen UK ISBN Agency allocates the numbers and there is a charge for this service. ISBNs can only be purchased in blocks of at least 10 numbers. A new number is needed for each new or revised edition and hardback and paperback books need different ISBNs as do each format of e-book. An ISBN should be applied for from the Neilsen UK ISBN Agency as soon as the book's title is decided upon.

For more information contact:

Neilsen UK ISBN Agency
3rd Floor, Midas House, Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6LQ

Tel: +44 (0)1483 712 215
Fax: +44 (0)1483 712 214


The barcode of a book corresponds to its ISBN, and should be displayed on the outside back cover.  Like the ISBN the barcode is essential if you want booksellers to stock your book. Most printers will be able to generate a barcode from the ISBN.


Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) Programme

The Cataloguing-in-Publication (CIP) Programme provides records of new and forthcoming books in advance of publication in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which are included in the British National Bibliography (BNB).

The CIP Programme is useful to both publishers and libraries. For publishers, the programme is a bridge to the library book buying market, while for libraries, it is a service which alerts them to ‘soon-to-be-published’ titles.

How to join the CIP Programme

Publishers wishing to join the CIP Programme should contact Bibliographic Data Services Limited, who will supply further information as required:

Bibliographic Data Services Limited
Publisher Liaison Department
Annandale House, The Crichton
Bankend Road
Dumfries DG1 4TA

Tel. +44 (0) 1387 702251
Fax +44 (0) 1387 702259

CIP information on new titles appears up to 16 weeks ahead of the announced publication date. Advance information on well over 50,000 titles each year is provided in this way.

For more information on the how the CIP Programme operates please visit the British Library website


Legal Deposit

Publishers in the UK and Ireland have a legal obligation to send one copy of each of their publications to the Legal Deposit Office of the British Library within one month of publication.

In addition, the National Library of Scotland; the National Library of Wales; the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford; the University Library, Cambridge and the Library of Trinity College, Dublin each have the right to request one copy. These copies can be supplied via the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries in Edinburgh.

Since there is no national library in Northern Ireland, NIPR requests that publishers in Northern Ireland also donate one copy of each publication to the NIPR collection. These can be sent to NIPR c/o The Linen Hall Library, 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast, BT1 5GB.

From 6 April 2013, legal deposit also covers material published digitally and online, so that the Legal Deposit Libraries can provide a national archive of the UK’s non-print published material, such as websites, blogs, e-journals and CD-ROMs.

Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries

The Agent, Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries,161 Causewayside, Edinburgh EH9
Tel: +44 (0)131 623 4680   Fax: +44 (0)131 623 4681

British Library

St. Pancras, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB
Tel: 087 0444 1500


NIPR, c/o The Linen Hall Library, 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast, BT1 5GB
Tel: 028 9032 1707