Author Topic: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?  (Read 615 times)

NeverGiveUp

Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« on: November 09, 2018, 03:34:11 AM »
I was just looking into this this morning, and I'm wondering if I should do it. It looks like it's between $35-55 depending on what options you choose. I have 14+ books, so it won't be super cheap for me to do it across the board.

For those of you who DO have your works copyrighted, does this price sound right? I thought it was much more expensive than what I'm finding online now.
 

Becca Mills

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2018, 03:48:46 AM »
I get it done. $35 is the figure that sticks in my mind.

This recent thread might be useful: https://writersanctum.com/index.php?topic=1237.0
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Solitary Dan

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 04:16:12 AM »
$35 is for a single work by a single author.  If you include your cover art with your copyright claim, it would need to be one you did yourself; otherwise, it goes up to the $55 level.

Also, periodicals go at the $55 rate even if done by a single author.

So I pay $35 for my novels and $55 for my newsletters.
     
 

Vijaya

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 05:36:59 AM »
I get it done. $35 is the figure that sticks in my mind.

This recent thread might be useful: https://writersanctum.com/index.php?topic=1237.0

And now it's 55. Not too egregious but still a chunk of $$$ when you have 14 of these. I'll bet there's a series option, just like with periodicals.

Dan, do you actually pay to copyright your newsletters? Sounds steep.

Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces, primarily for children
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Solitary Dan

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 05:56:53 AM »
And now it's 55. Not too egregious but still a chunk of $$$ when you have 14 of these.

What application are you using?  If it's a work by a "single author, same claimant, one work, not for hire" then it's still $35.


Dan, do you actually pay to copyright your newsletters? Sounds steep.

I try to do four short stories per issue, so, yes, I do register the copyright for them.
     
 

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Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 07:40:10 AM »
Your writing is automatically copyrighted the moment it is written. However, it is my understanding that registering the copyright makes it much easier if you have to litigate--whether to sue someone else for copyright infringement or to defend yourself against an infringement claim. Registration weighs very heavily in the evidence on your side.


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Vijaya

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 11:02:07 AM »
If it's a work by a "single author, same claimant, one work, not for hire" then it's still $35.

That's what I used and it was $55. Non-refundable.  :dizzy

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Vijaya

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 11:09:55 AM »
I get it done. $35 is the figure that sticks in my mind.

This recent thread might be useful: https://writersanctum.com/index.php?topic=1237.0

Requesting for these two threads to be merged. Thank you.

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Maggie Ann

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 11:11:19 AM »
Back when I started, I couldn't afford $35. Now I can, at least for new works even if it's $55, but I have over 40 books published. Can't afford to catch up on those.

           
 

elleoco

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 11:22:19 AM »
Maybe they've increased prices, but isn't there something like if it's digital only you can upload a copy and it's $35, but if there's a physical edition you have to send copies of that and it's $55?

I remember when the Passive Voice guy said he registered his wife's as digital only before they were published so there was no physical edition at the time.

What I've wondered about is if you can get an official copyright on older works. I didn't file on my first books but have been doing it on the later ones that PV way. There's so much ugly stuff going on any more, I wouldn't mind having something official on every one of them.

Kyra Halland

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2018, 12:41:25 PM »
I register copyright on all my novels. I think the deal is if you register online it's $35/$55 and more expensive if you send in paper documents. I believe (this is what I heard, and it seems to have borne out in my case) that it's $35 if you register just with one name, your real name OR your pen name (if you use one), $55 if you register with your real name AND add your pseudonym to the registration. I use a pen name; I've always registered with both my real name and my pseudonym, and the last time I registered a copyright it was $55. I could just register with my pen name (because that's what's on the books and while I don't have reason to need to hide my real name, I'd just as soon keep my real name out of it as much as possible) and only pay $35, but my understanding is that the term of copyright protection is different for copyright registrations that are done only with the pseudonym. So I put both names down.

I also register mine before I publish the paperback. You're required to send in the best existing edition. If the book is only published digitally, you can send a digital file, but if it's published in paper, you have to send paper. I did that once. It gets expensive, buying the books (they want two copies), getting them shipped to you (can't ship them straight to the copyright office because there's a document you have to print out and include) then mailing them to the copyright office. It also took a lot longer to get the certificate. But the actual registration didn't cost any more.


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notthatamanda

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2018, 01:20:56 PM »
I register everything and this year it went up from $35 to $55.   :icon_sad:
I have two trilogies and I wrote them all at once, so I copyrighted the compilations.  That was two copyrights for two trilogies versus six copyrights for the six individual books.  Now I don't know if that is 100% kosher and I am not a lawyer, but I couldn't find any reason not to do it.
One thing if you are copyrighting older works - remove the back matter from the files you submit.  One time I submitted something and the file failed.  When they contacted me about it, six months later,  I gave them the latest file without thinking about it, it had two chapters of another, already copyrighted, book in there and that flagged the system and I had to send them another file.  Not a big deal, the guy was really nice about it, but just a problem you can avoid, and if you have a lot to copyright at once that could get a little screwy so be careful.
 

NeverGiveUp

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2018, 01:30:38 PM »

One thing if you are copyrighting older works - remove the back matter from the files you submit.  One time I submitted something and the file failed.  When they contacted me about it, six months later,  I gave them the latest file without thinking about it, it had two chapters of another, already copyrighted, book in there and that flagged the system and I had to send them another file.  Not a big deal, the guy was really nice about it, but just a problem you can avoid, and if you have a lot to copyright at once that could get a little screwy so be careful.

Will this make a difference in my print books? In each one I have the first chapter of the next book in the series. I made those print pdfs back when I was still using Scrivener, and I remember how intensely complicated it was to do it for print. I would like to avoid having to put them out without the back matter!
 

Simon Haynes

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2018, 01:38:35 PM »
When I copyrighted my print books in the US, they allowed me to order copies from Amazon.com and ship them directly, using a special address & 'attention of'

For overseas authors, this can save a LOT of money. For Aussie authors who can no longer order print books from Amazon, it's essential.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2018, 09:13:36 PM »

One thing if you are copyrighting older works - remove the back matter from the files you submit.  One time I submitted something and the file failed.  When they contacted me about it, six months later,  I gave them the latest file without thinking about it, it had two chapters of another, already copyrighted, book in there and that flagged the system and I had to send them another file.  Not a big deal, the guy was really nice about it, but just a problem you can avoid, and if you have a lot to copyright at once that could get a little screwy so be careful.

Will this make a difference in my print books? In each one I have the first chapter of the next book in the series. I made those print pdfs back when I was still using Scrivener, and I remember how intensely complicated it was to do it for print. I would like to avoid having to put them out without the back matter!

I never sent them print books for copyright so I don't know.  I can't imagine the copyright office wanting hard copies of everything.   The space alone, oy vey.  I've only done electronic filing. 
 

LilyBLily

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2018, 09:38:58 PM »
Copyright of a single author title still only costs $35, but the ECO Copyright site changed where you find the right thing to click and if you click "Standard" instead of "Single" you will be charged $55.
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2018, 10:18:47 PM »
Copyright of a single author title still only costs $35, but the ECO Copyright site changed where you find the right thing to click and if you click "Standard" instead of "Single" you will be charged $55.
Thanks for clarifying that.  Hopefully I'll remember for next time.  I would guess it defaults to Standard. 
 

NeverGiveUp

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2018, 03:22:07 AM »
When I look at this fee schedule, https://www.copyright.gov/about/fees.html, it appears that to register anything "on paper" the fee is $85. Wouldn't sending in two hardcopies of my books fall into this category?
 

Solitary Dan

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2018, 03:27:25 AM »
When I look at this fee schedule, https://www.copyright.gov/about/fees.html, it appears that to register anything "on paper" the fee is $85. Wouldn't sending in two hardcopies of my books fall into this category?

Not if you register online and then mail in the copies with the form they will provide you.

Registering by paper means you send in the copyright application on a paper form through the mail without registering online.
     
 

Solitary Dan

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2018, 03:28:28 AM »
Years ago, you'd have to write (via U.S. postal mail) to the Copyright Office to request copies of the copyright application form that you would then fill out and mail back.
     
 

Vijaya

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2018, 02:31:07 AM »
Copyright of a single author title still only costs $35, but the ECO Copyright site changed where you find the right thing to click and if you click "Standard" instead of "Single" you will be charged $55.

Aha!

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veinglory

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2018, 04:19:46 AM »
I don't register copyright because I did not think the chances of needing it justified the cost.  It would be interesting to see a poll of who dies and does not do it.
 
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Guerin

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2018, 01:06:28 AM »
Copyright of a single author title still only costs $35, but the ECO Copyright site changed where you find the right thing to click and if you click "Standard" instead of "Single" you will be charged $55.

This is correct. I just recently filed for my latest book. It is confusing how the site is laid out and the $35 vs $55 is not clearly defined and obvious to someone using the site. I saw this problem the last time and forget about it since I only use the site every 3 or 4 months.

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Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2018, 01:30:26 AM »
Copyright of a single author title still only costs $35, but the ECO Copyright site changed where you find the right thing to click and if you click "Standard" instead of "Single" you will be charged $55.

This is correct. I just recently filed for my latest book. It is confusing how the site is laid out and the $35 vs $55 is not clearly defined and obvious to someone using the site. I saw this problem the last time and forget about it since I only use the site every 3 or 4 months.
I felt the same way about the site. It's set up so that $55 appears to be what you need to pay. The fact that it's called standard definitely reinforces that feeling.

There are other sources of confusion as well. From what Julie posted some months back in the other place, it sounds as if people generally should be able to submit electronically. (The deposit requirement for the best edition applies to the Library of Congress, which may or may not ask for copies.) However, there are unclear references to the deposit requirement all over the site, so that someone who had no other source of information would assume the copyright office is asking for copies. Also, even though the two organizations are supposed to be separate, I got a reply to a query from the copyright office on a library of congress email domain. If they were trying to be confusing, they could hardly have done a better job.


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NeverGiveUp

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2018, 05:47:39 AM »

One thing if you are copyrighting older works - remove the back matter from the files you submit.  One time I submitted something and the file failed.  When they contacted me about it, six months later,  I gave them the latest file without thinking about it, it had two chapters of another, already copyrighted, book in there and that flagged the system and I had to send them another file.  Not a big deal, the guy was really nice about it, but just a problem you can avoid, and if you have a lot to copyright at once that could get a little screwy so be careful.

Will this make a difference in my print books? In each one I have the first chapter of the next book in the series. I made those print pdfs back when I was still using Scrivener, and I remember how intensely complicated it was to do it for print. I would like to avoid having to put them out without the back matter!

Can somebody answer this question for me? In my print editions, I have a sample chapter of the next book in the series. Again, it would be a bear to have to remove them and republish the print books with the new files. Will the copyright office spit the print book application right back at me if they see the additional material in the back matter of the printed book?

ETA: Does anyone know of a reliable person/service to do the filing for you? This whole thing seems really confusing to me. I think I might be better off hiring someone knowledgeable to deal with it for me.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 05:50:28 AM by NeverGiveUp »
 

Guerin

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2018, 06:10:40 AM »
Don't make this more complicated than it is.

You should file for the copyright on your own using the government site here: https://eco.copyright.gov

Under the "Other Registration Options" select Register One Work by One Author, that's the $35 option.

When you're done filling out the application you can then upload a copy of your manuscript. It has to be one of the following types.

.doc (Microsoft Word Document)
.docx (Microsoft Word Open XML Document)
.htm, .html (HyperText Markup Language)
.pdf (Portable Document Format)
.rtf (Rich Text Document)
.txt (Text File)
.wps (Microsoft Works Word Processor Document)
.fdr (Final Draft)

Don't put any extras our sample chapters in that. You can do that later when you get ready to publish. Save a copy of the doc you uploaded for reference later.

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Solitary Dan

Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2018, 07:25:47 AM »
Can somebody answer this question for me? In my print editions, I have a sample chapter of the next book in the series. Again, it would be a bear to have to remove them and republish the print books with the new files. Will the copyright office spit the print book application right back at me if they see the additional material in the back matter of the printed book?

Whether it's print or an electronic document, if you have material in it, such as sample chapters, from another work that's already been registered, you can specifically exempt such material on your new application.  There's an area to fill out.  You just list the material being exempted from the current claim and you're all set.

In your case, it sounds like you're including material from a future work that's not yet been registered.  So, you can include those chapters on your registration and then exempt them from the registration for the next book to which those chapters belong.
     
 

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Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2018, 10:46:26 AM »
Just FYI:  If you write under a pen name, but you want to claim the copyright under your real name, then you must use the "standard" filing, not the "single" filing.  If you use the "single" filing, then the claimant's name must match the one on the book cover. 

At least, this was the case as of last February.  It's possible the forms have changed again since then.

You can file using your pen name as the claimant, but the protection the work gets is different.  Instead of author's life +70, it's something like 95 years after publication.  (Not sure)

I've never done print, so I don't have any experience with print copyright filing.
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Re: Do you have your books formally copyrighted?
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2018, 02:18:30 PM »
I file for each story before I publish it.  That way, I'm protected from day 1.
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