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The Right Way to Copyright a Book

by Vervante •

Copyrights are a wonderful thing. You write a book, or you create a product like a CD, DVD, journal or planner, and you’ve put a lot of time, energy and your own personal knowledge and experience into it. It makes sense that you would want to protect that book or product – and copyright is the way to do it!

Official copyright registration with the U.S. Copyright Office creates a public record of your authorship and officially recognizes you as the copyright holder in a court of law. Set it up right and you’ll have the full weight of the government on your side. Set it up wrong, or don’t set it up at all, and protecting your work if it is stolen becomes much, much more complicated.

You may think that something like this will never happen to you, but in the U.S. there is over $16 billion in loss of revenue to copyright owners each year, showing that it can and does happen quite often. Think of the hours and effort you put into your most recent book, special report, coaching CD or information product. Now imagine seeing that very same book or product for sale on another person's website. They might change the cover image or title to make it seem different, but inside are your words, your programs, and your original ideas.

It’s devastating. We know, because we’ve been through this ourselves. That’s why you need to make sure your copyright is set up the right way.

Here’s how to copyright your materials – and one big mistake to avoid

Here at Vervante, we offer copyright registration services – or you can choose to set it up yourself. Here’s how, and the answers to some common questions:

  • Vervante copyright services: Log in to your Author Account on the Vervante website and navigate to the "Copyright Registration" page under the Services menu. Fill out the information and submit your request. One of our publishing experts will complete the application on your behalf and submit a copy of your book to the Copyright Registration Office, ensuring that your copyright is correctly set up.
  • Setting up your own copyright: The U.S. Copyright Office website, www.copyright.gov., has an easy online application process. Complete the form provided on the website, pay the application fee, and follow their directions for sending a copy of your book to the copyright office. You can place the order for the book in your Vervante account for this.

What does copyright protect? Copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.

Do I have to register with the U.S. Copyright Office to be protected? No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.

Can I just put the copyright symbol in my work and I’m protected? No. And this is what we really wanted to warn you to watch out for. Merely typing in a © in the title page or anywhere in your product does not give you the full protection of filing with the U.S. Copyright Office. To copyright your materials, you MUST file with the copyright office.

How soon can I publish my book after applying for a copyright? As soon as you want. Once you have submitted the application and a copy of your book, you do not need to wait for the copyright certificate to proceed with promoting and publishing your book. You are free to log into your Vervante author account to have your book printed and your orders shipped.

How long does a copyright last? As a general rule copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years.

We hope this helped – and we’re here to answer any copyright questions you might have. Just drop us a line at sales@vervante.com or schedule a phone call by clicking here.

Bottom line? Your book is the result of your hard labor and intellectual brilliance. Taking the step to protect your work, once you’ve written and published, is quick, easy and the best way to give you peace of mind.