Believe it or not the largest publisher in the country is Uncle Sam, spending close to $1.5 billion each year. Many know of the Consumer Information Center, located in Colorado, that distributes over 25,000 different government publications annually. Then there is the Government Printing Office that has bookstores across the country. But did you know that thousands of other titles are available free directly from most federal agencies?.

Chances are something has been written by a team of government experts on any subject that comes to mind and it's just a matter of knowing where to look. The Federal Information Center in Washington (202-755-8660) can tell you which agencies to call to get publications on a particluar issue.

In the wake of budget cutbacks, take advantage of these free publications while they last. Soon many government pamphlets and books may only be available for sale.

The titles and descriptions below are only a sampling of what's out there. For a single copy of any of these publications, send a written request to the address given, along with the title and publication number if there is one. In a few cases, follow specific instructions such as sending a postcard or a self-addressed mailing label:

1. Got a Minute? You Could Stop A Crime. How to discourage burglars, outsmart muggers, frustrate con artists and generally make life harder for criminals. Write: Crime Prevention Coalition, Box 6600, Rockville, Md. 20850.

2. Filing A Charge. You've got 180 days to file an employment discrimination charge and this leaflet tells how. Send postcard: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 2401 E St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20506.

3. Save Energy Safely. Conserve but be careful when it comes to home insulation, vent dampers, wood stoves, etc. Write: Save Energy Safely, CPSC, Washington, D.C. 20207.

4. Alice in Debitland. Advice on using automated teller machines, telephone bill paying, and other forms of paperless money in this age of electronic banking. Write: Federal Reserve System, Publications Service, 20th & C Streets NW, Washington D.C. 20551.

5. Should You Rent or Buy A Home? (#HUD-328-H5). The pros and cons of being a renter and a homeowner. Write: HUD, Publications Center, Room B258, Washington, D.C. 20410.

6. Learning More About Housing & Mortgage Credit . . . An Annotated Bibliography for Women. A reference of 23 sources that offer advice on credit, financing and housing alternatives. Write: HUD, Publications Center, Room B258, Washington, D.C. 20410.

7. Clearing the Air. Many ex-smokers swear by this guide which describes different ways to kick the habit. Write: Office of Cancer Communications, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, Md. 20205.

8. Your Trip Abroad. Tips for trouble-free travel overseas including necessary vaccinations and help from American consuls. Send postcard: State Dept., Room 4827A, Washington, D.C. 20520.

9. Walking. If you traipse to and from work everyday on hard concrete, you might discover some useful information. Write: President's Council on Physical Fitness, 400 6th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20201.

10. How to Understand Your Utility Bill. How to read your gas and electric meters, calculate costs, and make sense of the company's billing methods. Write: Energy Dept., Technical Information Center, P.O. Box 62, Oak Ridge, Tenn. 37830.

11. Taking Time. An in-depth guide on giving support to people with cancer. Write: Office of Cancer Communications, NCI, Bethesda, Md. 20205.

12. Facts About Hearing and Hearing Aids. Detecting hearing disorders in youngsters to suggestions on buying a hearing aid. Write: FDA-Hearing Aids, 8757 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md. 20910.

13. A Women's Guide to Apprenticeship. Avenues for apprenticeship in the construction, manufacturing and service industries. Send self-addressed mailing label: Labor Dept., Women's Bureau, Room 53005, Washington, D.C. 20210.

14. Checklist for Going Into Business (SMA #71) Some questions you need to answer before deciding whether to start your own business. Write or call: U.S. Small Business Administration, P.O. Box 15434, Fort Worth, Tex. 76119; 800-433-7212.

15. Small Business Guide to Federal R&D. A discussion of business opportunities and what criteria firms must meet in order to participate in federally supported research and development. Write: Office of Small Business R&D, National Science Foundation, 1800 G St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20050.

16. Directory of Resources. This 100-page sourcebook includes organizations in the U.S. and overseas that are involved in international affairs. A revised edition is due out soon. Request both, write: International Communications Agency (ICA), 1750 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington D.C. 20470.

17. World Bank Atlas. Global maps which show data on population, gross national product, per capita GNP in current U.S. dollars for most countries. Write: Publications Office, World Bank, 1818 H St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20433.

18. Prenatal Care (#OHDS-73-30017) Also available in Spanish (#OHDS-75-30012). This 70-page book gives the expectant mother advice on caring for herself during pregnancy and describes the needs of a newborn baby. Write: LSDS, Dept. 76, Washington, D.C. 20402.

19. Single Parent Families (#OHDS-79-30247) Managing your budget to dealing with courtship jealousy are discussed in this new booklet. Write: LSDS, Dept. 76, Washington, D.C. 20402.

20. Parents' Checklist for Day Care (#OHDS-81-30270) For advice in determining what day care arrangement is best for your child. Write: LSDS, Dept. 76, Washington, D.C. 20402.

21. Cellulite: Hard to Budge Pudge. What obesity experts say about products promising to attack that waffly fat. Send postcard: FDA Office of Consumer Affairs, Consumer Communications HFE-88, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Md. 20857.

22. Hemorrhoid Treatments Reviewed. Included in this 4-page report is a chart of what is safe and effective and what's not. Send postcard: FDA Office of Consumer Affairs, Consumer Communications HFE-88, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Md. 20857.

23. Heating with Wood. Learn how to clean chimneys to the heat value per cord for over 50 types of wood. Write: Energy Dept., Technical Information Center, P.O. Box 62, Oak Ridge, Tenn. 37830.

24. Our American Government: What Is It? How Does It Function? 150 questions are answered about the three branches of government. Also available from any Member of Congress are the Declaration of Independence & Constitution, Our Flag, and the handbook, How Our Laws Are Made. Write: your senator or representative or to D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515.

25. How to Deal With Motor Vehicle Emergencies. What to do in the case of brake failure or blowouts. Write: Dept. of Transportation, NAD-42, 400 7th St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20590.

26. Tips for Energy Savers. Ways to shave fuel costs ranging from water heaters to outdoor lighting. Write: Energy Dept., Technical Information Center, P.O. Box 62, Oak Ridge, Tenn. 37830.

27. Children and Television (#OHDS-80-30169) The results of a three-year research project on the TV viewing patterns of preschoolers. Write: LSDS, Dept. 76, Washington, D.C. 20402.

28. Caring About Kids: Dyslexia (#ADM-80-616) Advice for dealing with youngsters who have problems reading. Write: National Clearinghouse for Mental Health Information, Public Inquiries Section, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Md. 20857.