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How to Copyright a Book in 2024 (Research Based In-Depth Guide)


Copyright writing allows you to establish a public record of your intellectual belongings. While every artist automatically owns the work they create, copyright is what allows them to prove it. Only a copyright owner has the right to make copies of their content, distribute, display their ownership publicly, and create derivative work based on the copyrighted content. In this blog, you will learn the background of copyrighting in the US, methods to register a copyright, and steps involved in getting a copyright.

The Copyright Act of 1976

The Copyright Act of 1976 formed the copyright law basis in the US. It brought about fundamental changes in various aspects of copyright law. It extended copyright protection to all original work. It also took into account different types of media channels. Congress expanded this idea to avoid amending copyright laws that accounted for the latest technology such as recordings, motion pictures, photography, etc.

The Act elaborates on the basic rights of every copyright holder, such as:

  • The right to copy the work or reproduce based on the previous work
  • The right to claim derivative works
  • The right to perform your work in front of the general public
  • The right to display your work in front of the general public
  • The right to distribute and send copies of your work to others by sale, rent, or lease.

What Things Can You Copyright?

Anything that exists in a tangible form can be copyrighted. Copyright covers an extensive range of artistic and literary work, including books, technical drawings, maps, sculptures, paintings, music, architecture, advertisements, poetry, novels, databases, films, computer programs, and more. While you can copyright various types of work, there are still certain things that copyright registration doesn’t cover. More details on this later in this article.

When Can You Copyright Your Work?

Your work is copyrighted the moment it’s produced and registered. Copyright registration allows you to display your work publicly, and file a lawsuit in case anyone attempts to own authorship over it. While registering copyrights isn’t mandatory, it is essential to bring a lawsuit for infringement.

Registering a Copyright in Two Ways

Copyright registration is simple. Those who wish to register their copyright can do so in two different ways:

  • Electronic registration
  • Paper registration

Electronic Registration

  1. To register your copyrights electronically, you will have to create an account on the online copyright registration system.  
  2. Log in to your account and head over to the category section on the registration page. The categories include literary works, performing arts, visual arts, photographs, motion pictures, and other digital content. 
  3. Click on your required category. Once you do that, you will be redirected to a log in page. If you don’t already have an account, this is when you create one. 
  4. Select “Standard application.” This option exists on the left side of your screen, right below the “Register Your Work,” option. 
  5. Review your eligibility criteria and then register under the section, “Register work by one author, poet, artist, etc.
  6. Select “Start Registration” and enter all the information required. The form demands information about your work, when it was created, and why you created it. 
  7. Once you pay the fee, you will be allowed to finalize your registration by submitting your work.

Paper Registration

The second method to register your copyright is through the mail.

  1. Head over to the US Copyright Office website and download Form TX. This form is similar to the one used in the e-Registration. 
  2. Print out the form and fill it out. The first section of the form will depict a step-by-step guideline to help you how to fill out the form properly.  
  3. Once you fill the required details, mail it off to the right address with the required fee. 
  4. Submit your work to finalize your registration.

Also Read: How to Get a Literary Agent

7 Steps to Copyright A Book

Registering your literary work in the US requires you to submit an application to the US Copyright Office.

Copyrighting a book involves the following seven steps:

  1. Visit the official website of the US Copyright Office. This website was first established by the Library of Congress and allows authors to fill out and submit their registration application online with a few simple steps. 
  2. Register your copyright by selecting the right category. To copyright a book, choose the category, “Literary Works.”
  3. Log in to your account or create a new one to get portal access.
  4. Click on “standard application” after you log in to your account. Navigate to the option where it says “Register a Work.”
  5. Fill out the forms online after selecting, “Start Registration.” You will find this option right below the “Regier your Work” option on the left side of your screen.  Complete all the information required in the form to proceed. 
  6. Pay the fee online to the US Copyright Office. 
  7. Submit the final version of your book for review to the US Copyright Office. 

Contact Gnome Book Writing today if you’re looking for a professional book writing company to resolve copyright issues for you. Gnome Book Writing is a professional book writing agency that also caters to book editingpublishingmarketing, and providing you with copyrights. Contact them today to get authorship over your work.

The Overall Cost of Copyrighting a Book

Each type of registration requires a different fee. Please note that the fee structure mentioned in this article may vary from when you read it.

  • Copyrighting a book through electronic registration costs around $45.
  • A standard application for electronic registration costs $65.
  • On the contrary, paper registration is more expensive and requires authors to pay $125.

To view the current filing fees, please head over to the US Copyright Office website. Registering a copyright for your book is an easy and quick process. As mentioned earlier, it can be done via mail or through the online portal system, depending on your preference.

Adding a Copyright Page to a Book

Adding a copyright page to your book won’t offer any extra security. However, it will let the audience know that your work is copyrighted. It is an attempt to deter anyone who plans on copying your content in the first place. A book’s copyright page should include the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), the publication year, the copyright symbol, the book edition, the reservation of rights, and your name. It must also include a disclaimer that claims that any suggestion or information taken and implemented from the book is entirely the reader’s decision.

Also Read: How to Write and Publish a Book in 2024

Things That Can’t Be Copyrighted

Anything that exists in a tangible form can be copyrighted. According to section 102, title 17 of the US Code, copyright registration only exists for intellectual property that has a fixed tangible form. It should be original and distinguished from other work. While copyright protection extends to music, poetry, artwork, books, films, etc., there are certain things that you can’t protect through copyright. These include:

1. Systems, Methods, and Ideas

According to the US Copyright Office, you cannot claim copyright for the following things:

  • Algorithms, formulas
  • Mathematical principles or theories
  • Business procedures
  • Scientific discoveries or technical methods you explored
  • Building things
  • Any other method, operation, or concept

2. General Information

You cannot claim copyright for things that are identified as common property. For instance:

  • Telephone directories
  • Rules or tape measures
  • Standard calendars
  • Weight and height charts
  • Tables or lists acquired from public documents

3. Choreographic Content

Whether a choreographic work is original or not, it cannot be subjected to copyright protection unless it’s been notated or videotaped. The same goes for performances and speeches that aren’t transcribed.

4. Expressions, Short Phrases, Titles, Names

Want to claim copyright for the catchy slogan you thought for your business? No can do! The good thing is that while your slogan, title, or expression can’t be copyrighted, they can still be trademark protected if they pertain to your business. Here’s a list of all those things that can’t be copyrighted:

  • Titles
  • Names
  • Pseudonyms
  • Business names
  • Work titles
  • Product descriptions
  • Expressions and short phrases
  • Recipes
  • Ingredient lists
  • Prescriptions, formulas, and compounds mentioned on products or recipes

While you can’t claim copyright for any of the above-mentioned things there are still a few exceptions. For instance, if you’ve written a cookbook with a combination of particular recipes and used substantial literary expressions, there may be a chance to get it protected through copyright registration.

5. Fashion

Contrary to what many individuals believe, copyright law can’t protect your fashion ideas. This includes shirt designs, dresses, and any other article of clothing. While the copyright law protects visual arts and architectural designs, It identifies accessories and clothing as useful items and does not cover these articles.

However, you can copyright a certain fabric pattern, but not the entire dress. The good thing is that while a clothing design can’t be copyrighted, it can be patented.


Copyright writing can be a tricky process. You need to provide the US Copyright Office with all the relevant information to ensure your work is protected by law. Copyrights allow authors to make copies of their work, use it on various platforms, post excerpts on different websites, distribute their content, and use it to write more books.

Avail Gnome Book Writing today if you wish to hire professional ghostwriters to produce high-quality and creative content. Gnome book writing has years of experience in the literary industry and has helped several authors get recognition for their books. We also offer copyright protection for your content to ensure you are the sole owner of the book. Contact us today for more details.