Writing Done Right
Book Copyright
Summary: Do you need to register a copyright? Find out here.

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Many authors get the end of their manuscript and ask themselves if they have to copyright their work. This will help answer those questions.

 This article will simply answer the key questions about needing to copyright your book. I am not a lawyer, so please consult an attorney for more details. That being said, this is based on my experience in self-publishing.

Do I need to register my copyright?

Essentially, no, you do not have to register your work to have it copyrighted. In United States law, copyright is implied. Directly from the US Copyright office:

Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

That means as soon as it is on your computer and ready to go out, you can attach the copyright year and have protection. However, if you need to file a claim for someone stealing your copyright, you do need the registration (or at least it will make your claim easier to fight).

How do I register my copyright?

Copyright registration happens through the copyright office. While it is possible to register offline, it is far more practical to create an account with the office and register with the online portal.

The process is simple. The first time you set up your account, you will be able to create your authors, company, and other information (don't worry about the privacy factor...this is all public information in the copyright anyway). Then for each subsequent work, you will be able to quickly select the information and file quickly. You will want to upload the manuscript if possible because it greatly reduces your turnaround time for processing the request.

How much does it cost?

At the time of this writing, the cost to register your book copyright is $50.