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How to Copyright a Book

Copyright law for books, like all literary intellectual property, is straightforward to understand because copyright protection is automatic. According to the Berne Convention, you don’t need to register your book with a copyright office. However, in the event of a copyright dispute, you must be able to prove that you are the original author and establish the completion date of your work.

This can be more challenging than it seems. With the rise of the Internet, copyright infringement has become a significant issue, making it essential to understand how copyright protection works for your books and how to properly copyright a book, especially if you plan to self-publish on platforms like Amazon.

How to Copyright a Book in Five Easy Steps

Although copyright protection is automatic, it’s crucial to know how to protect your book and prepare for potential infringements. Follow these steps to ensure your book’s copyright protection:

  1. Prove Your Identity as the Author: Ensure you have documentation to verify your authorship.
  2. Prove the Completion Date: Keep records showing when your book was finished.
  3. Register with a Copyright Service: Use a service like to register your work.
  4. Maintain a Version History: Keep track of the different versions of your manuscript.
  5. Add a Copyright Notice: Include a © copyright page in your book.

Following these steps can help you protect your copyright and save time and stress if you encounter infringement issues.

Writing a Copyright Page for a Self-Published Book

To officially show your book’s copyright, add a copyright page or notice with the © symbol, the year of publication, and the copyright holder’s details. Here’s an example:

© Copyright 2010-2024 Your Name/Pen Name. All Rights Reserved.

Using a copyright registration service like can simplify proving your authorship. You’ll receive a unique reference number and a digital certificate. Include this reference number in your copyright notice as an effective deterrent against copyright theft:

© Copyright 2010-2024 Your Name/Pen Name. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright protected with Reference Number: 123456789

Registering Your Book with a Copyright Office or Service

Using a copyright registration service like has many advantages. It provides immediate proof of copyright, is quick and easy to use, and is cost-effective. Additionally, Amazon ACX accepts LutinX digital certificates as proof of copyright.

Common Misconceptions About Proving Copyright

  1. Date and Time on Digital Documents: Dates on computer files can be altered, making this method unreliable.
  2. Emailing the Book: Email contents and headers can be changed, and verifying these through an ISP can be difficult.
  3. Sending a Hard Copy to Yourself: Known as “The Poor Man’s Copyright,” this method is outdated and impractical.

Copyrighting a Book Online

Registering your book online can save time and stress if an infringement occurs. Services like make it easy to register your work and obtain a unique reference number and digital certificate. This proof can be vital if you need to file a takedown notice or a small claims court action. A central, digital hub for your literary works allows you to manage everything in one place.

How Long Does a Book Copyright Last?

Copyright for literary works lasts for the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.

How to Register Your Book’s Copyright with

To register your book’s copyright with, follow these steps:

  1. Complete the registration details such as name, email, and address.
  2. Choose your plan or start with the FREE service.
  3. Log in and submit your book.

Once registered, your book’s copyright will be immediately recognized and protected by This makes it easier to prove your copyright in case of future infringements, keeping all your copyrighted work organized and accessible.

To learn more access