How to Copyright a Book

Learn about the copyright process and how to keep control of your work.

Do I need to copyright my book?

Do I need to copyright my book?

From the moment your words are written on paper or saved to a digital file, your work becomes protected under intellectual property law. It doesn’t require any formal registration. The very foundation of copyrighting a book begins with you, the author, as you embark on the creative process of writing.

What is a book copyright?

What is a book copyright?

A copyright is literally the right to copy a work. With copyright, a work can only be copied if the owner gives permission, giving owners of a body of work the ability to decide how and when others may use it. Copyright law makes it easier for authors to make money selling their books, by preventing bookstores from buying one copy of a book, making copies of the book, and then selling the copies to their customers. However, copyright only prevents others from copying your work. Unless you can prove that someone read your book, it’s hard to prove infringement.

Understanding the book barcode of conduct

Understanding the book barcode of conduct

While your book’s ISBN makes it unique in the marketplace, it doesn’t automatically or officially copyright your book. Your voice is the foundation to each and every page of your book, so it is essential to protect it, along with all of your ideas and content. A customer buying a book is also buying an author’s intellectual property, including the story, the setting and the characters, so copyrighting your work ensures that you maintain control of this intellectual property.

What is an ISBN?

How to copyright a book

Throughout the writing process, you are in control of every word and punctuation mark on each page. Once your book is published, it’s important that you remain in control of your work. Intellectual property laws make the foundation of copyrighting a book easy, but you can still take it a step further to make certain that you remain in control, by registering it with the Copyright Office, Library of Congress. Officially copyrighting a book with the Copyright Office ensures that you are the legal owner of the work you’ve created, in case there is ever a need to litigate in the future. Your book and all its characters, settings and stories will belong to you, and if anyone infringes on any part of it, you can assert your rights. Registering your work is very simple with the online portal, and only costs $35. Just go to the copyrights for photographs, sculptures and written works, fill out the form, pay the fee, and you are done.

Only you can tell your story

Your voice is your verbal fingerprint, and it’s important that it belong only to you. The official book copyrighting process is a simple and affordable way to permanently protect your work against plagiarism and theft. To learn more about copyrighting books, visit the BookBaby Blog.

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