The Copyright Page

Is the first sentence in your book the most important? Yes – to the reader. But what page is the most important to a librarian, bookseller or distributor? That would be the copyright page. It carries the copyright notice, edition information, publication information, printing history, cataloging data, legal notices and the book’s ISBN number. Also listed on the copyright page are the credits for design, production, editing and illustration of the work.

Below is a sample copyright page. Take a moment to review it and then we’ll look at each of its parts.

1.   Copyright © 2017 Author Name

2.   All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by reviewers, who may quote brief passages in a review.

3. ISBN 978-0-1234567-0-0 (Paperback Edition)
ISBN 978-0-1234567-1-0 (Hardcover Edition)

4. Library of Congress Control Number 101010101

5. Some character and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real person living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

6. Excerpt from article in Magazine Name by Article Author.
Reprinted by permission.

7. Editing by Editor Name
Front cover image by Artist Name
All photographs by Photographer Name unless otherwise credited
Book Design by Designer Name

8. Printed and bound in USA
First Printing September 2016

9. Published by Publishing Name
PO Box 12345
City, ST, USA 10101

10. Visit http://www.WebsiteURL.com

Now, let’s look at each of these sections in greater detail.

1. Copyright Notice

Copyright © 2017 Author Name

There are three things that always need to be on your copyright page and they are all included in this one section.

1) The © symbol, or the word copyright, or the abbreviation “Copr.”
2) The year of the first publication of the work.
3) The copyright owner’s identity.

The copyright owner is typically the author even if you are using a self-publishing service such as BookBaby, Lulu, or CreateSpace.

Your goal with the copyright date is to keep it as current as possible for as long as possible. In the U.S. there is a trick you can use to convert a 12 month year into a 15 month year for copyright purposes. Because the Library of Congress allows you 3 months from the time of printing to apply for your official copyright, you can publish in the last quarter of one year, put the forthcoming year’s date in your copyright and apply for your copyright at the beginning of the new year.

NOTE: Do not get an official copyright for your manuscript as soon as it is finished. Your words may change during editing and it may take some time to publish your book. Wait until it is ready to go to publishing.
In order to obtain a copyright, go to copyright.gov and register online. There is a $35 fee for each single work by an author. You should get an official U.S. copyright from the Library of Congress in order to protect yourself. You will have no legal protection without one in an infringement case. A copyright protects your work for the author’s lifetime plus 50 years.

2. Reservation of Rights

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the publisher, except by reviewers, who may quote brief passages in a review.

This is typically a generic paragraph that authors use. It can be modified to include wording about how to obtain permissions or deleting the phrase about reviewers.

3. ISBN (International Standard Book Number)

ISBN 978-0-1234567-0-0 (Paperback Edition)
ISBN 978-0-1234567-1-0 (Hardback Edition)

You can obtain an ISBN by going to Bowker.com where you can purchase 1, 10, or more ISBNs. Assign them in sequential order to your books as you produce them via your online account at Bowker.

Each part of the ISBN has a specific meaning. You must have a separate ISBN for each different edition of your book – paperback, hardcover, audio book, e book.

Often publishing services will provide you an ISBN at no charge. Even though this seems like a good idea, it may not be because the third section of the number identifies the publisher. Often librarians, book store owners, and distributors who recognize the numbers for BookBaby and IngramSpark will automatically reject the book. This is why it is advised to use these outlets as your PRINTER not your PUBLISHER.

4. Library of Congress Control Number

Library of Congress Control Number 10101010101

A Library of Congress Number is free and it shows book people (librarians and booksellers) that you know what you’re doing. Apply for the number online at http://www.loc.gov/publish/pcn/.

5. Disclaimer

Some characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Just in case you have unwittingly portrayed someone you have never met, it is always a good idea to include this disclaimer to protect you from potential lawsuits.

6. Permissions Notices

Excerpt from article in Magazine Name by Article Author. Reprinted by permission.

Always give credit for anything you borrowed from another book. Don’t wait until the last minute to get permissions. It may take a while to locate and obtain them from others.

7. Credits

Editing by Editor Name
Front cover image by Artist Name
All photographs by Photographer Name unless otherwise credited
Book Design by Designer Name

You should always list your cover designer and the person who made your cover image. If not listed here, you should include them on your cover or jacket. All other credits are optional. In addition to the ones shown above, you might also consider listing your proofreader, indexer, and printer.

Your Acknowledgements page is where you will mention family, friends, colleagues and any others who helped you out or encouraged you along the way.

8. Country and Printing Number

Printed and bound in USA
First Printing September 2016

The country is listed for the customs people across the world. Someone in customs is supposed to check where the book was printed.

The printing number is included for your own information.

NOTE: “First Printing” is not the same as “First Edition”; it only refers to the printing process. For example, the reader would assume the wording was pretty much the same for the first and second printings.

9. Publisher Name

Published by Publisher Name
PO Box 12345
City, ST, USA 10101

If you are using an outside publisher such as BookBaby of CreateSpace, they will serve as your publisher and you will not need to create your own publisher name.

If you are not using a publishing service, you may want to form your own publishing company. Register it at your city hall and put the name on the title page, copyright page and back cover of your book. Be sure you do a thorough search to confirm you are not using someone else’s business name.

Be sure you show some type of address as well so others can get in touch with you for permissions. It can be an email address, street address, or both. You may want to use a PO Box to protect your exact location.

10. Website Address

Visit http://www.WebsiteURL.com

You can also add your website address as another way for folks to find you.

A Final Thought-

Be sure to keep the whole copyright page as unobtrusive as possible and you can’t go wrong.

REFERENCES

www.bookdesignmadesimple.com/copyright-page-and-the-confusion/
www.thebookdesigner.com/2009/10/self-publishing-basics-the-copyright-page/