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Tips To Help You Copyright Your Book

In the United States, most creative works produced privately and originally after April 1, 1989 are copyrighted and protected whether they have a notice or not. Publication or registration with the U.S. Copyright office is not required for a copyright to exist. Your book copyright and your ownership of this right occur as you create it.  Your creative work must exist in a tangible form – such as on paper or a computer disk. Major advantages to registration include the following:

  • A copyright registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin before the owner can file an infringement suit in court. Filing before an infringement takes place allows the copyright owner to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees and not just damages and lost profits.
  • It serves as prima facie evidence in an infringement suit of the existence of a valid copyright.

As you can see, it can be a good idea to copyright your book. Even though the process is not difficult, it can be helpful to have a guide that will spell out the steps to take in order to obtain a copyright.

Before you begin the application process, you must first prepare your manuscript. The entire piece of work needs to be submitted so be sure to check that all editing, both for grammar and for the story, are completed. When you are certain the work is finished, visit the official site of the U.S. Copyright Office. This is where you’ll find all the appropriate paperwork to file your copyright application. You will be instructed to select a form for submission depending on the type of novel you’ve written.

Once the paperwork is completed it needs to be sent with your manuscript and filing fees to the Library of Congress. Instructions and tutorials on the U. S. Copyright Office page will guide you regarding procedures and the fees you’ll need to send, which can range anywhere from $35 to $65. Approximately six months after you register your work, you should receive a certificate stating that everything is in order and that you are officially part of the copyright office. When publishing your book, you should display the following in the first pages of the novel:

  • Your copyright stamp of approval. Put the copyright symbol on the book by either adding a circled "C" in the front section (imprint page) of your book or the word "copyright" with the date and author’s name following it (example: Copyright 2009 John Doe).
  • An acknowledgement that you own the book.
  • The publication date.
  • The Library of Congress catalog number.

Keep in mind that you can not copyright the title of the book or the names of the characters. A copyright protects how you used the words within the body of the book only and doesn’t protect the words themselves. Also:

  • Watch your timing: if you file for the copyright before your book is published, you’ll have to refile for another copyright of your book after it’s published. So, you’ll have two copyrights for the same work and you will have paid two fees. If wait until after your book has been published before getting a copyright, you will have to send two bound copies of the book to the copyright office along with your registration paperwork.
  • When you copyright your book, you are generally entitles to the rights to your manuscript for your lifetime plus 70 years.
  • International copyrighting does not exist. Different countries treat copyrighting differently, although most will protect foreign works under certain conditions.

For more information regarding how to copyright your book, or for other question regarding the book printing process, contact the book printing experts at http://www.CMYKGraphix.com by calling them at 1-800-698-2071, or by emailing them today.

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Be Sure To Copyright Your Book!

After you’ve worked long and hard on your masterpiece, you are finally ready to self-publish it and get it out into the world. Before you take that step, though, it would be wise for you to copyright your work even if it is "only" a book of family recipes. While many people don’t realize that most works created after April 1, 1989 have copyright protection, taking the extra step of officially obtaining a copyright gives you a record that is traceable if you ever need to sue for copyright infringement. The action of getting a copyright for your book legally protects you from having someone else steal what you worked so hard to produce. It’s not difficult to do and you may have cause to thank yourself for it later.

  1. Put the copyright symbol on the book by either adding a circled "C" in the front section (imprint page) of your book or the word "copyright" with the date and author’s name following it (example: Copyright 2009 John Doe).
  2. Contact the U.S. Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov) to start the steps needed to copyright your book.
  3. The current fee for applying to copyright your book online is a mere $45.00 (increases to $65.00 on August 1, 2009), payable by electronic check, credit or debit card, or Copyright Office deposit account.
  4. Fill out a short form if your work is totally new and you are the sole author. Fill out the Standard TX form if there is more than one author of the work or other sources were used. Use form SE if you are publishing a periodical or a serial.
  5. There are plenty of tutorials on the U. S. Copyright Office website to help you through the process if you get confused.
  6. You can also send a paper form by snail-mail to the Copyright Office, if you prefer not to fill things out online.
  7. If you file for the copyright before your book is published, you’ll have to refile for another copyright of your book after it’s published. Basically, this means you’ll have two copyrights for the same work (and you will have paid two fees). If you think you’ll avoid this by waiting until after your book has been published before getting a copyright, keep in mind that you’ll have to send two bound copies of the book to the copyright office along with your registration paperwork.
  8. You can not copyright the book’s title! You can not copyright the name of a character, either. When you obtain a copyright, you are protecting the work within the body of the book, not the title itself. A copyright is meant to protect how you used the words, not to protect the words themselves.
  9. Works written as an employee actually belong to the employer, not to the author.
  10. When you copyright your book, the rights generally extend for your lifetime plus 70 years.
  11. There is no such thing as an international copyright. Different countries treat copyrighting differently, although most will protect foreign works under certain conditions.

Going through the steps to copyright your book is not really that difficult and it’s something every self-publishing author needs to do. You’ve taken the time to write your book, now take the time to safe-guard your hard work!

For more information about how to copyright your book, contact the book printing experts at http://www.cmykgraphix.com, call them at 1-800-698-2071, or email them today.

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