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Why Book Copyrighting Matters

"Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works … Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture." –Library of Congress

Should I Copyright my Book? Why Book Copyrighting Matters

Any work is under copyright protection from the moment of its inception. You created the work and no one should be able to claim otherwise. But what if they do? That's what copyright registration is for – it's an additional level of insurance. When you copyright a book, it's an official record that states, in no uncertain terms, that you are the creator of your work … and having this matter of public record can be extremely helpful if someone steals your work and you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to prove that you are, in fact, a book's true author. Many writers think it's better to avoid this potential risk and choose to copyright a book. Learn more about the cost and process of the United States Copyright Office.

How to Copyright a Book in the U.S.

You can purchase a copyright from the United States Copyright Office, which is a division of the Library of Congress. No third party is necessary – in fact, we advise you to only purchase your copyright registration directly from the United States Copyright Office. That way, it's absolutely certain that you are the owner of the copyright.

You can submit through physical mail or via electronic submission. If you submit electronically, the following text files are accepted: .doc, .docx, .htm, .html, .pdf, .rtf, .txt, .wpd and .wps. Processing of electronic submissions can take up to 8 months and processing of physical submissions can take up to 13 months. The registration, however, is valid from the date you submit it. First-time registration fees range from $35 to $85 and lasts for 70 years after the death of the author.

You can start registering your copyright by visiting the United States Copyright Office.

If you have any questions about how to copyright a book in the United States, we recommend contacting a copyright lawyer or the United States Copyright Office at (877) 476–0778.

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