Join David Wogahn for an in-depth discussion in this video Securing copyright and why it's important, part of Distributing and Marketing Ebooks.
You may have heard that your book is automatically covered by copyright as soon as it's published, or that you could do what's called the poor man's copyright, and mail a copy of your book to yourself. Both of these statements are true. Just try protecting your rights if someone starts selling it on their own. Here's three reasons why you should register. One, is as a deterrent. If people know it's registered, they're less likely to use it. The second reason is to stop infringement, this is a legal issue, and we'll get into that in just a moment. In the third reason, this is sometimes overlooked, is it creates an asset.
So, if it's copyrighted, that is an asset of your business or of your profession. In the basics of copyright, as we said, if a book has been published, it is automatically protected. But the key is if you're going to claim infringement, in order to collect damages and attorney fees for your book, it has to be registered. And there's a period of time that you must have it registered before you take that action. If you file it electronically, it's $35, or in writing, $65.
The expensive part of this comes into play, is when you have to expedite that, because there has been a perceived copyright infringement. Then you pay far higher fees in order to get registered quickly. To register your book, you wanna visit copyright.gov. Copyright.gov really applies to any intellectual property, be it a written work, music or video files, if your are film maker. This information is important, but as authors what we want to do is visit the part that's called Copyright Basics. It's a 12 page PDF that you can download and read, and it explains the whole copyright process in a lot more detail.
Once you've read that document and explored the site a little, you'll wanna go over to the registration Click on this, and this will explain it in current terms. It is important to understand how long it takes in order to get this information back, if you haven't registered and you're having to take legal action. And down here, it does have a note about current processing times. Another place to click here is called eCO acceptable file types. This will explain what are the acceptable file types that you could submit for copyright, if you're not submitting a paper copy.
And if you go down the page, you'll see under text, that they will accept a Microsoft Word document, and there's two formats, doc and docx, as well as a PDF format. And Rich Text document format, is another one that's a universal file type, and of course there's Word Perfect, and Microsoft Works, and Text Files. So there's several formats here that you could submit. You cannot submit an ePub file or a Mobi file. So you'll have to go back to the source document that was used to create your eBook.
So, once you have your file type that you're going to submit, you're gonna want to return to the main screen and click on eCO login. It'll explain some security and some privacy information, and continue on to eCO. And this is the screen that you will register for a free account with the copyright office, or use an existing account if you have one, and continue on to fill out the information to register your work.
- Understanding ebook trends and how to make them work for you
- Using measurement, tracking, and analysis tools just for authors
- Working with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, NOOK Press from Barnes & Noble, and Kobo Writing Life
- Becoming an approved publisher to the iBookstore
- Writing and distributing press releases
- Networking with authors and publishers
- Acquiring an ISBN number and copyright
- Pricing ebooks
- Selecting an aggregator
- Using Amazon services
- Selling ebooks directly