Tips for Copyrighting Your Book

Under intellectual property laws, your work is protected the minute it is created. However, formally registering your book with a copyright office is an extra step you can take to get peace of mind knowing your work is safe from infringement. 

We use the internationally-valid United States Registration Office to copyright FriesenPress-published works. If you're seeking to protect the work you created, there are some general rules you need to keep in mind to ensure that you have completely covered your bases:

  • You should not include any material that was created by someone else unless you have their written permission. This includes photos, artwork or quotes.
  • You should also not include anyone's real name in your book unless they have given their written permission. Pseudonyms can be used for non-fiction works.
  • When filling out copyright forms, ensure that the title and author's name are exactly as they appear on the published work.
  • Include other contributors such as co-authors, illustrators & photographers and their citizenship & country of residence – if you have a written agreement transferring the rights.
  • If your work has been previously published in any form - including as posts on social media or your blog, or through speaking engagements and group readings - it is not eligible for copyright through FriesenPress, as we did not assist with that publication. You can, however, seek a post-publication Copyright Registration on your own.
  • If the work is already registered for copyright, you are not required to register it again unless there is a significant amount of the work that has been updated.
  • If a previous copyright is in place then the number, date, country of registration and a detailed description of the new material to be considered for copyright, is required.
  • Complete and correct address information must be included so that the Registration form will reach you successfully.

The Copyright Registration process is typically 18 months from submission, and culminates with you receiving a certificate indicating your ownership of the work. Your FriesenPress Publishing Consultant or Author Account Manager will be happy to assist you with any additional questions you may have when completing your Copyright Form. However, please note that each project is different and there may be some questions we can't answer. If that's the case, we suggest that you consult a Copyright Lawyer or professional for further advice.

Written by Dawn Johnston