With over a million books self-published in 2017, it is an amazing time to be a writer! Many people dream of becoming an author, but if you fail to take the necessary precautions, you could be ripped off and never see a penny.
There are few things more upsetting than seeing someone else profit from your original ideas and writing. To make sure that you and your writing are completely protected, check out this helpful guide on how to copyright a book.
How to Copyright a Book and Why You Need It
There are several important steps to bringing your book from a brainchild to reality. You will need to find a publisher or self publish, make promotional materials, or use one of Adobe Spark’s book covers for your design.
As the name implies, copyright is the legal authority to copy a book. Having copyright is what prevents a publisher from just taking your manuscript and selling your story without you benefitting at all. Copyright also extends to the setting of your book, the specific characters you created, plot elements, and the world of the story itself.
Technically, you own the copyright to your book as soon as it has been finished. However, if you want to protect your book completely, you will need to register your copyright claim with the federal government. If you write your book and never assert your copyright, someone else could come along and write a similar book, leaving you unable to claim infringement legally.
Why Should You Register Your Copyright
By registering your book at copyright.gov, you will be able to use constructive notice if someone tries to use your settings, characters, or stories. You will be able to assert your legal rights, regardless of whether the other author has read your book.
E-publishing and independent book publishers have created more ways for authors to publish their works than ever before. Once published, everything that makes up your book will be protected by copyright to a certain extent.
However, if you fail to register your book with the government, your options to claim copyright infringement will be limited. Unless you register your book with the US Copyright Office, you will not be able to make a legal claim in a US court. Depending on how thoroughly you want to protect your book, you can also register for copyright with the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Once you register your book with the proper authorities, you have made a global declaration that your intellectual property is yours and yours alone. If you do not take this extra step, you would have to prove that another author somehow gained access to your manuscript and stole your ideas. If you are unable to prove such a claim, there is no way you will be able to win a copyright infringement lawsuit.
After you register, you will also be able to use the copyright symbol and have a foreword stating that the contents of your book are legislated against infringement.
Make Sure Your Book Belongs to You
For a minor fee and some paperwork, you can defend your intellectual property and know that your book is safe from theft. To learn more about how to copyright a book, check out our website today!