When your book is published, it is automatically protected under copyright law. That means that no one can pass off your words as their own without your explicit permission. However, we still recommend authors register their copyright with the U.S. Copyright office. Why is this necessary, you ask? That’s a great question.
Think of it like a receipt. It serves as a proof that you purchased the merchandise you own. This entitles you to take advantage of the store’s return policy. If you lose your receipt, there are some stores that MAY allow you to exchange your item or get store credit without a receipt, but that is often at the store owner’s discretion. Copyright registration is very similar. When you need to make a claim against anyone for a copyright violation, you can use your copyright certificate to fight for statutory damages in court. Without a confirmed copyright, it is very unlikely that you have a case. You will have to try to settle with the infringer outside of court. Certainly, you can threaten to speak with an attorney, but if the violator is aware that you didn’t register your copyright, that won’t go over too well…
Finally, if you take your career as an author seriously, purchasing your own copyright is an important step in the publishing process. There is certainly a cost involved, but the protection and professionalism that results will most likely prove invaluable.
Ultimately, choosing to register the copyright for your work is a personal and important decision that only you can make. Consider your audience, how important is to protect your work from infringement, and how serious you take your career as an author before making such a decision.
|ABOUT CHERI BREEDING:
Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.