What You Need To Know About Copyrighting Your Book

If you’re an author, you might know that your book is automatically protected by copyright once you write it. It might not even seem necessary to register for a copyright. However, we can’t stress enough how important it is to do so. Why’s that?

Think about someone claiming your work as their own.

Book copyrighting can be confusing, and there are a lot of misconceptions, such as counting on the poor man’s patent. Even though your book instantly becomes a copyrighted publication, your ownership rights are established only through registration with the US Copyright Office. With copyright, you gain legal protection and can seek damages if your work is infringed upon. In short, the legal rights you have over your book are protected.

Copyright registration for a book is best handled by an intellectual property attorney. If you’re curious about the process, today’s article gives you a quick overview of the steps involved in registering your book’s copyright.

As part of the registration process, you’ll have to fill out an application, pay a fee and submit an electronic or hard copy of the final draft of the book you wish to copyright.

There are two ways to register for a copyright for your book:

Electronic Registration

Also referred to as “eCO”, here’s how to register online via the Electronic Copyright Office:

  1. On the Copyright Office’s registration page, click “Literary Works” and then “Register a Literary Work.”
  2. After you’ve logged in or created an account, click “Standard Application” on the dashboard and fill out the form.
  3. Complete your application by paying the required fee and submitting a copy of your book’s final draft.

Note that you may upload electronically only if your book meets the requirements for electronic submission. In most cases, it’s usually required to send a hard copy of your book. If your book isn’t eligible, you’ll be prompted to print a shipping label as soon as you pay the fee. 

Registration By Mail

You can also mail your application if you prefer not to register online.

To register the copyright for your book by mail, follow these steps:

  1. Download, print, and fill out Form TX.
  2. Once you’ve filled out the form, send it along with the payment by mail.
  3. Submit a hard copy of your book’s final draft by mail to complete your registration application.

As of 2022, these are the fees to copyright a book:

Electronic filing:

  • Single author, same claimant, one work, not for hire: $45
  • Standard Application: $65

Paper Filing: $125

You should not wait until your book is published to begin this process as it can typically take anywhere from 6 months to over a year. The ideal time to register for your book’s copyright is when the final draft is ready, but you haven’t yet started the publishing process. The reason being is that it’s easier to electronically register a copyright application if you submit it before publication.

Sanchelima & Associates, P.A. is one of the leading intellectual property law firms in South Florida. With over 40 years of experience, we have represented the IP interests of a wide array of businesses in the US and abroad, including Fortune 500 companies. Whether you need a consultation or prosecution of a patent, trademark, or copyright, we can protect your business’s interests. 

Contact us to book your consultation!

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