Learn How to Copyright a Book in 6 Easy Steps [2024 Updated]

Learn How to Copyright a Book in 6 Easy Steps [2024 Updated]

If you want your creative work safeguarded from plagiarism or your content passed down to several who will claim it as their own, copyrighting your ebook is the most crucial step. By copyrighting your book, you hold a high position in guarding your ebook. It allows you to keep all your concepts and content under the best protection, where nothing fishy will happen under your nose. For you to maximize your legal protection as an author, the question, “Should I copyright my book?” should actually be out of the question!

Take the music industry as an example. Of course, music and notes can be very similar. However, with copyrighted music, no one can mess with the creator’s piece. In book terms, you, as an author, have the authority and ownership of the book you created. This makes it much easier for you to pursue legal actions, claim damages, and claim infringement. Your legal position in this case is strengthened; no one can claim your content as their own, no matter how big the issue gets.

So, you can get the best from your ebook and successfully pursue your career as an author without any hindrance. In this short, comprehensive read, we have gathered effective steps for you to learn how to copyright a book one step at a time.

Need tips on creating the perfect pitch for your ebook? Read our blog, “Pitch Perfect: Conquering the Publishers with Your Book Idea,” for the best, most effective tips.

What Is a Copyright?

Copyrighting is when the owner or creator creates a public record of their rightful and intellectual property. In short, it’s a legal shield. Copyrighting your book or ebook protects your original creative work from plagiarism, false ownership claims, and more. It grants you exclusive rights to control how your work is used, even if you decide to use it publicly, such as through public displays or advertisements, or if you want to copy it yourself by making sequels or translating it, and so on. Copyright acts like an invisible sign that states your rightful ownership and complete possession of that book, including the content, plot, characters, personalities, background setting, and everything else you have added to your book. Once you copyright your ebook, you have the right to sue for infringement and claim compensation for any damages.

While no one else can profit from your original work, being the copyrighted material, if your ebook or content contains facts, that is where you cannot claim ownership of that. For example, you plan on writing a new and creative version of a kid’s encyclopedia with many pictures, facts, short quizzes, and gameplay. Now, the animation or pictures, the short gameplays, and the quizzes will be your original work unless you got it off the web from any source. However, the encyclopedia itself has facts stated in it; this is where you can still have a copyright to your book, but facts are facts, and no one can own them, right?

But if you are a writer who plans on writing a fictional story and it has a unique plotline, the names are unique (completely made up), and if everything is straight out of your imagination, then clearly, you have the right to it all.

Here is a reason why copyrighting your book is important: On the one hand, there are people out there who are out there to steal your content and creativity, coming up with pretty similar storylines, and so on. On the other hand, there is scamming, where bookstores can buy one copy of your book and then end up making several copies to sell to their customers.

Why Should I Copyright My Book?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in our Book Creating services. The moment your words and creativity or imagination are written out on paper or even saved to a digital file, that becomes protected under intellectual property law. By copyrighting your book, you can provide solid proof of your ownership and creation.

Whether you have published your book professionally or self-published it, your authorship of the work automatically establishes your ownership according to the United States copyright law. However, in the U.S., it is necessary to file a copyright registration after producing a work if you later need to take action against infringement and obtain statutory damages.

Without a formal copyright registration, you will need extensive proof that you are the sole copyright owner and that another entity purposely infringed on your book. This is harder to prove without prior notice that the work already existed. So, you would most definitely not want to go the complicated way, which is why copyrighting your book is the best advice we give to those who do not want their work copied.

Read more: How To Start Writing A Book Of Your Life? Tips To Start Writing.

Understanding The Importance of ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a distinctive 13-digit code, or 10-digit for older books, assigned to every published book. It acts as a fingerprint for a particular book, encoding information like the publisher, edition, and format.

This seemingly simple code is crucial for the entire book industry. Without a unique identifier, it would be difficult to order a specific book from a vast database. ISBNs streamline everything from ordering and distribution to sales tracking and library catalogs. With an ISBN, bookstores, libraries, and online retailers can easily find the exact book you’re looking for, ensuring it gets into the right hands. Moreover, they play a vital role in self-publishing, allowing your book to be listed and sold alongside traditionally published works. In short, ISBNs are the invisible workhorses that keep the book world running smoothly.

However, it is important to note that while your book’s ISBN makes it individual in the market, it doesn’t automatically or officially copyright your book. Your voice is the foundation of each page of your book, so it is important 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.

Read more: Your Guide to Writing a Successful Story Structure.

How to Copyright A Book

If you want to register your literary work in the US, you must submit a copyright application to the U.S. Copyright Office. Throughout your writing process, you control every word on each book page. As soon as your book is published, it is important that you stay in control of your book or ebook.

Here are 6 steps for you to copyright your book:

1. Visit the US Copyright Office Website

Set up by the Library of Congress, copyright.gov is a site that allows you to fill out and submit registration forms online by completing a few simple steps.

2. Create Your Account

After you select the right category for your book or written work, click “Register a Copyright” and select the desired category. Then, you create an account to access the portal.

3. Standard Application

Once you have created an account and logged into the site, you will see near the left on the site where it states to “Register a Work.” Under that, it reads “Standard Applications.”

4. Fill Out Your Form

Start the registration by clicking on the available option, then complete the form with relevant and appropriate details about your book.

5. Do the Payment

Pay the U.S. Copyright Office filing fee.

6. Submit your Book Material

Once you have completed all of the above, you can submit your manuscript’s final polished and official version to the website (U.S. Copyright Office).

Want to Promote your ebook? Here’s a short read: Promote Your eBook Through These 9 Brilliant Strategies.

Can You Write A Book About Someone Without Their Permission?

Although it is always best to ask for permission before writing about someone and their life in a book, several factors must be considered. In general, permission is not necessary when it comes to public figures. Their lives and actions are considered newsworthy and open to public scrutiny. Biographies of politicians, celebrities, or historical figures often fall under this category. However, there are nuances to consider. Even with public figures, if you delve into their private matters or portray them demonstrably false or maliciously, you could be held legally accountable for defamation or invasion of privacy.

The situation is different for private individuals. They have a right to privacy, and writing a book about them without their consent could be a legal issue. Even if the information is accurate, if it’s highly personal or embarrassing, it could be considered an invasion of privacy. To be on the safe side, it’s always best to ask for permission from a private person before using their name or identifiable details in your book. This will protect you legally and avoid any potential ethical concerns.

Ready to Copyright Your Book?

Writing a book can be challenging, even for experienced authors. Sometimes, you may need some creative inspiration and the assistance of a team of skilled ghostwriters to help you come up with captivating ideas for your next ebook project. This is where our Book Creating services come in handy. We offer the best services to help you create a book that can be listed on the copyrighted books list. Contact us today, and let’s work together to create an outstanding book!