Registering your book in Canada is an important step in making your book more available to libraries and the public. Find out how to register your book in Canada as an independent author through the legal deposit system.
Where do you register your book in Canada?
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) keep records and copies of all Canadian books. They call themselves the custodians of both distant past and recent history. They produce standardized bibliographic descriptions for Canadian publications for libraries and cataloguing.
What is a legal deposit?
Under the Library and Archives of Canada Act, Canadian Publishers are required to provide 1 to 2 copies of their book to the Library and Archives Canada (LAC). This means all published materials in Canada, intended for sale or public distributions are collected and held by the LAC to contribute to Canada’s literary heritage.
Self-published authors can make a legal deposit to the LAC in order to register your book in Canada and create a record for libraries.
We have also written a full guide on legal deposits which can be found here
How do I make a legal deposit in Canada?
Making a legal deposit is a fairly straightforward process. But if your book is both in print and digital form, you will need to complete both the print publication steps and the digital publication steps.
For print publications:
Step 1: Determine how many copies to submit
- 2 copies for all print material when 100 or more copies are produced
- 1 copy for all print materials when 4 to 99 copies are produced
- 2 copies for every format published for all audiobooks
- 1 copy for each multimedia kit
Step 2: Complete the form
- For book, audiobooks, CD-ROMs, maps and multimedia print out on letter-sized paper and complete this form.
- For magazines, journals, newsletters etc. print out on legal-sized paper and complete this form.
Step 3: Mail your application including the form and additional materials to the following address:
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Step 4: What happens next?
- After your legal deposit is received, LAC will send an email receipt.
- LAC then creates a bibliographic record of your work which appears in Voilà, the national union catalogue, and in Aurora, LAC's catalogue.
- One copy of your publication is stored in the preservation collection. The second copy is stored in the service collection for public access.
For digital publications:
Step 1: Determine what level of access the public has to your book
- Open access: anyone can view and download the files.
- Restricted access: the files can only be viewed on computers at the LAC and cannot be downloaded or printed.
Step 2: Deposit your digital book
There are a couple of methods by which you can make a legal deposit for digital publications.
Upload the files
- Register to deposit here.
- Log in to your account.
- Upload your files in PDF or EPUB, or both if available. Do not upload any web files such as HTML, XML etc. or propriety formats including MOBI, Kindle, iBook, or interactive PDFs.
- Upload the cover image as a JPEG or PNG file if the digital file doesn’t include it.
- Ensure the file size is 200 MB or less.
- Ensure the files are free from digital rights management (DRM).
- If uploading multiple files, upload as a ZIP archive.
Step 4: What happens next?
- Once the files have been uploaded, you will receive an email confirmation (only for files submitted by uploading)
- LAC will then create bibliographic record of your work which will appear in Voilà, the national union catalogue, and in Aurora, LAC's catalogue.
- LAC will archive a copy of the files in their digital repository.
Cataloguing in Publication
Authors published by a trade publisher, non-profit association, university press, museum or gallery can apply to register your book through CIP. The Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) program is a free and non-obligatory service. It allows Canadian publishers to register their publications with the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) before publishing. The CIP program unfortunately does not accept self-publishers and publishing companies that charge for publishing services. Check your eligibility for the CIP program here and if you are eligible complete the CIP application form.
This article covers how to register your book in Canada. To learn more about legal deposits we have written a full guide covering legal deposits. We also have articles covering the process if you're publishing your book in Australia, the USA and the UK. Remember this is of course just one of our Indie Author Guides. Pop your email in the box to the right to sign up for our newsletter and stay in touch with our latest tips, info and specials for our author friends.
Soon, in a month or two, I'll be self-publishing my novel via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle Unlimited. As a Canadian, I am interested in the Expanded Distribution... and the opportunity for my book to be purchased by libraries through distributors that Amazon currently works with in the United States and, I believe, the United Kingdom. The process you've written about here references CIP and does not mention PCN. So, I'm wondering, is the process as you've described it, not also available for PCN (which includes self-published books)?
Apologies if my question seems naive. I'm early in my investigations.