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How to Copyright Your Book

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

Today I'm going to show you how to apply for copyrights of your book. You technically own the copyrights of your book once you put your ideas on paper but just to cover your bases and protect yourself and your work from theft of intellectual property, we always encourage our clients to order their copyrights of their work immediately. Understand that you do have up until five years after publishing to do it.

If you’re anything like me, you like to get it done before you forget about and have started working on other books. After you get your book formatted and illustrations are completed (if it’s a children’s book and you own all rights to the illustrations) and you are ready to submit it your copyright documents, it can take about 30 to 45 days to get them in the mail. So as you wait and move on with your book make sure you mention that the book has copyrights on your copyright page of your book.

Getting your works copyrighted is important because you want to always protect your because somebody will probably see it and like it and they could easily duplicate the exact same thing. Stealing your ideas. You can take legal action because you have that copyrights. It doesn't always happen, but sometimes it does. You just want to protect yourself and your work.

Let's get started.

Create an account. Once you create an account, you're going to go ahead and log in. It's important that you remember your login because they are very picky about how it looks, the caps, the signs…everything! Please remember your login and your security password because sometimes you may have to reset it if you do forget it.

Go to register a work, on the far left and you're just going to do a standard application. It says this application may not be used to submit unpublished collections.

Select Register a group of unpublished works.

Then you're going to look at the criteria. All the work must be unpublished. You may submit no more than 10 works. You must submit the same type of work. All works must be created by the same author.

On the author claimant screen, you must select a term from the dropdown menu, and you must provide a separate title for each work. Now if you're only doing one work, we can do the standard application. This says the standard application may be used to register one work and since you're only going to do one, if you don't have a series that you're doing, you can only do one.

Next, they ask, what type of work is it? It is a literary work and then you're going to check the box saying that you've read the description above and select, that the entry that best describes your book.

You're going to click continue and then enter the author information. Click on the title type and you're going to determine the title type. If it's a children's book, you'll put that. If it is a novel, you'll put that, so make sure you put the title type.

Title of work being registered, previous work series, title, content title, so the title of work being registered, and then the title of this work and you're going to put the title and go ahead and click save and continue. Next question is, has this book been published? You're going to select no because you're doing this before you hit publish and it wants to know what year will it be published. You're going to put this year, and if you have a pre-registration number, you can put it there, but if you don't, leave it blank.

Click continue and add the author’s name and that you're a citizen. Click save. You don't have to put all the information about the date of birth if you don't want to check the appropriate boxes to indicate the author's contribution. You did the text, if you own the artwork, you can put that as well. Click save.

If you have another author, like a co-author with a book, or you do an anthology, you'll add them as well. Click continue. Now you're going to do the claimants, if there are, if there's no one else, the claimant basically is any organization that may own the book or who's transferring it to you. Maybe they had the copyrights before you when they publish your book, but now you own the copyrights, you'll put them down. Otherwise, you just add yourself.

You'll make sure you add your address as well and click save. Then click continue. This system is nice because it keeps track of where you are in the application process, and it lets you know if you completed it. Then complete the limitation of the claim. You complete this section to limit your claim if the work contains or is based on previously registered material or previously published material. If it's not, then you're just going to go ahead and click continue. Go ahead and do the rights and permission. You may provide contact information for the person or the organization that can be contacted regarding your copyrights. If you have a publishing company, this is a great opportunity for you to put it there.

Also, add the email and address so they know how to contact them regarding your copyright information. Click continue and go to the correspondence section. Any mail that you want to get from them, you want to add that information there. Your copyrights will be mailed to this person/address. Make sure it is accurate. Then the next question is going to ask you to certify that everything that you entered is correct and there is no false information. Certify, sign your name and if you have an internal tracking number, you can put it there If you have any notes you want to leave for the Copyright Office, you'll add that as well and click continue.

Now it's time to review everything that you submitted to make sure that it's correct, and if it is, you'll go back to the top and click add to cart. When you click add to cart, depending on how many applications have you submitted, it will tell you how much it is. If you do two or more, you get a discount which is really nice! It's usually $65 to apply for copyrights. You have your copyrights and check out and pay.

Once you order and pay for your copyrights you’re done. Remember, it takes approximately 30 to 45 days to receive it in the mail. Once you get it, file it away with all other business documents.

There you have, brilliant author! This is how you Copyright Your Book!


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