How to Copyright a Self-Published Book

You worked hard to complete your manuscript. Now, you’re wondering the best way to protect your book. Copyrights allow you to legally stop someone from stealing and reusing your creation as their own and profiting off of your hard work. Below, we discuss how to copyright your self-published book and answer some common questions about how copyrights work at EABooks.


What Are The Benefits of Copyrighting Your Book?

You’re automatically given the copyright to your work as soon as you make a tangible record of it, such as writing it down with a pen or paper or creating a document on a computer. However, that is not the same as registering it. You can register your book through the U.S. Copyright Office for extra protection and security. There are several benefits for registering your copyright, including:

  • Creating a public record of your copyright ownership
  • Stronger legal protections if someone attempts to steal your work
  • The ability to file a copyright infringement lawsuit
  • Allowing you to seek damages and cover attorney’s fees for copyright infringement


Do I Need to Copyright My Book?

Books and other creative works are automatically copyrighted when you put the work in a tangible form. However, registering your copyright offers additional legal protections. Every draft and edition of your book receives automatic copyright—not just your final, published version. Registering your book with the U.S. Copyright Office is completely optional, but it has added benefits that are worth the minimal expense. You’ll need to do this by yourself when you self-publish your book. However, traditional publishers usually create the copyright for you—more about what we offer below.


What Isn't Protected by Copyright?


There are certain things that copyright protection doesn’t cover. These include:

  • Book and song titles
  • Historical events, if used in a published work of historical fiction
  • Ideas
  • Generic settings
  • Quotes used in critiques and reviews
  • When a book is used for educational purposes
  • Parody
  • News reports
  • Works in the public domain


How to Copyright Your Self-Published Book


You can register your book with the U.S. Copyright Office by visiting https://copyright.gov. Navigate to the menu where it says, “Register a Literary Work.” You’ll be prompted to make an account and complete an application form. On the form, you’ll need to provide details about your book and upload a complete copy of the ready-to-be-published final edition. You’ll then need to pay the registration fee, currently $65. 

 

The best time to register for your book’s copyright is in its final draft before it’s formally published. You don’t need to wait for the book to be published to request and register your copyright. The official copyright process can take six months to over a year to complete.

 

If this sounds complicated, don’t worry! If you choose the Premium package with  EABooks Publishing we file the copyright for you. If you choose one of our other packages, we’ll provide a tutorial.


What Happens if Someone Steals My Work After Registering My

Copyright?

If someone reprints, repurposes, or steals your work in any format without your permission, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the person or entity for damages incurred and for the profits they made off of your work. To file a lawsuit, there must be a public record that you owned the copyright to that work. This is why officially registering your book's copyright is important. You may be able to recover legal and attorney’s fees as well.


EABooks Publishing: Your Partner in Self-Publishing


One more thought about someone stealing your work. At a conference many years ago a well named author said she’d be honored if someone stole her book and read it—then they’d meet Jesus! I thought that put things into perspective. Yes, legal protections are still wise, but having a right perspective on things is more important.

At EABooks Publishing, we’re dedicated to helping you share the story God has laid on your heart and share it with the world. We’ll help you navigate the self-publishing process from beginning to end. We can help you through the legalities and processes of publishing, distributing, and protecting your work. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your book and how we can help you self-publish it. 

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