One of the most common questions I get from new self-publishers is, “What do I put on the copyright page?” For some reason, the copyright page has the power to intimidate some people, with its small print and legalistic language, not to mention all those mysterious numbers.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few necessary items on the copyright page, and others that publishers add for various reasons. I’ve treated the copyright page in some detail in other posts, so if you want background please check here: Self-Publishing Basics: The Copyright Page. In a guest post, Joanne Bolton supplied some useful information for books that are printed overseas, and you can find her post here: Copyright Page Requirements for Books Printed Overseas.
To see the place of the copyright page within the book as a whole, check out An Unabridged List of the Parts of a Book.
The only elements required on a copyright page are the copyright notice itself:
© 2009 Joel Friedlander
And some statement giving notice that the rights to reproduce the work are reserved to the copyright holder.
All Rights Reserved.
Next you’ll see two versions of the copyright page, one long page with a CIP data block and a short version. Feel free to copy and paste these into your book file. Just remember to put your own information in.
Sample of a Long Copyright Page with CIP Data Block
Here’s an example of a copyright page that has the necessary elements, then adds ordering information, web address, CIP Data block (I’ve put this in blue so you can identify what is included; replace this with your own or delete it if you’re not obtaining CIP), edition information, and printing numbers (the string at the bottom) and dates for future editions.
Copyright © 2010 by Bill Shakespeare
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
1233 Pennsylvania Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94909
Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address above.
Orders by U.S. trade bookstores and wholesalers. Please contact Big Distribution: Tel: (800) 800-8000; Fax: (800) 800-8001 or visit www.bigbooks.com.
Printed in the United States of America
Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication data
A title of a book : a subtitle of the same book / Bill Shakespeare ; with Ben Johnson.
1. The main category of the book —History —Other category. 2. Another subject category —From one perspective. 3. More categories —And their modifiers. I. Johnson, Ben. II. Title.
HF0000.A0 A00 2010
299.000 00–dc22 2010999999
14 13 12 11 10 / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
A Short Copyright Page Example
Here’s a very short and to the point copyright page. It gives the necessary elements and not much more:
Copyright © 2010 by Wily E. Coyote
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Printed in the United States of America
First Printing, 2010
Falling Anvil Publishing
123 Mesa Street
Scottsdale, AZ 00000
This is the quick and easy way to get generic copyright page language into your book. Even with this short example, your copyright page will do the job it’s supposed to do, and give interested parties the means to contact you for publishing-related questions.
Next: Tomorrow we’ll cover using disclaimers and giving credit on the copyright page. Watch for it, and let me know if you have questions about the copyright page. I’ll see if I can answer them.
Want to know more about copyright? Need some sample copyright pages to drop into your book? Confused about the things you read online about copyright? Check out this 30-page easy-to-read guide. Click The Self-Publisher’s Quick & Easy Guide to Copyright for more info, or Buy Now as PDF or Kindle.
Photo: Big Stock Photo
Filed Under: Book Construction Blueprint, Editorial, Legal Issues, Self-PublishingTagged With: CIP, copyright
Most self-publishers get intimidated when it comes to making their first book copyright page. I understand – the small print and legal jargon were enough to make me squimish as well.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Today I’ll not only provide you with an example book copyright page you can just copy and use but also explain each one of the important parts to your copyright page like the all rights reserved statement, important copyright text, etc.
After reading this article, you’ll be able to quickly and confidently prepare your own book copyright pages from here on out, and thus, protect yourself and your works from book piracy.
In this lesson, you will learn:
- How to build an ironclad book copyright page
- The necessary components to a copyright page
- How to get ISBNs, CIPs, and more
Plus, you can always just access my free copyright example, and be well on your way.
Quick Disclaimer: Thank god I never became a lawyer…that might have been rough for many of us. But keep that in mind as you read this. And that’s it for my CYA statement.
So, let’s begin!
Free Book Copyright Page Example
If all you need is a book copyright page to copy and paste into your book, here it is. You have my permission to use it as you like. Just make sure to change the appropriate information so as to fit your needs.
Writer’s Writing Buddy by Tiana SiedschlagPublished by Cornerstone Writers Group200 Lakerose RoadMary Lake, MT 03789
© 2017 Tiana Siedschlag
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact:
Cover by Justin Reber.
Ebook ISBN: 359-2-85933-609-1
However, if you’d like to know more about each part of the above copyright page, or you have questions about how you should change it to fit your situation, you can reference the below parts.
Components to a Book Copyright Page
Generally, the more specific information you put on your copyright page, the more protection you and your book will have. However, this doesn’t mean you need to go overboard and hire a lawyer to create your copyright page. So, stand down Saul.
Instead, to have a legitimate copyright page, all you need is:
- The Copyright Statement or Notice
- “All rights reserved.” (or similar text)
Yeah…that’s really it.
However, there are a couple more elements that you should consider when creating your copyright page:
- Publisher’s Name & Address
- Ordering Information
- Printing Details and Trademarks
- Your Website
- CIP Data Block
- Giving Credit
- Printing Numbers (and/or years)
Don’t worry, I know that looks crazy but take solace in the fact that we’ll cover the area below.
1. The Copyright Statement
The copyright statement or notice includes these three elements:
- The symbol ©, or the word “Copyright,” or the abbreviation, “Copr.”
- The first year of publication
- The name of the copyright holder (presumably, your name)
© 2017 Dave Chesson
What if I use a pen name?
Go ahead and use your pen name on the copyright page in your ebook. Or, alternatively, use your publishing company name. If/when you register your copyright, include your real and pen names on the registration form.
What if I write under my business structure?
If your books are written and/or published under a business structure of some sort, you can list your company as the copyright owner on your copyright page in your ebook. There is no difference in the language if you’re operating as a sole-proprietorship, an LLC, or any other type of business organization. Use your company address, when listing the publisher contact details. Actually, this can help protect you legally as well as physically as you grow as an author. To learn more about this, the benefits and how to set it up, check out my article on creating a book publishing company.
2. All Rights Reserved
You can simply state “All rights reserved.” Or you can expound upon that statement, making it clearer and more forceful. Here are a couple of examples:
a. All Rights Reserved Example #1 (Simplest)
All Rights Reserved
b. All Rights Reserved Example #2
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information, address the publisher at:
c. All Rights Reserved Example #3
All rights reserved. This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise—without prior written permission of the publisher, except as provided by United States of America copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, at “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
Technically, if you have those two Elements (Copyright Notice and “All Rights Reserved”), your book copyright page is complete.
Simplest Book Copyright Example Page Ever!
Here is an example that uses the two elements above in its most simplistic form ever:
© 2017 Dave Chesson. All rights reserved.
Seriously, that’s all you need.
3. Publisher’s Name & Address
The publisher’s address is usually included next so that readers know who and how to contact for reproduction permissions. For many of you, the publisher will be yourself. List whatever way you’d prefer to be contacted for questions or to report an error in one of your books– email, website, business mailing address, etc.
Cloud City Publishing Company1234 Story StreetReadabook, PA 08922www.revowordspublishing.com
4. Ordering Information
This section includes information for people or organizations wishing to order more copies of your book. Different information may be listed for people looking to make individual orders, bulk orders for bookstores, college classroom orders, etc. Often, this won’t apply to self-published ebooks.
For information about special discounts available for bulk purchases, sales promotions, fund-raising and educational needs, contact Revolutionary Words Publishing Company Sales at 1-866-532-6991 or [email protected]
5. Printing Details and Trademarks
Disclose any trademarks your publisher may hold to names, logos or imprints included in your book. Also include any details about your publishing company’s environmentally friendly printing practices, the location of printing, fonts used, etc. Many of these don’t apply to ebooks, however here are some examples:
The Light Saber logo is a trademark of The Republic Publishers, Inc.This book is typeset in Verdana and Courier New.The Republic Publishers, Inc. is concerned with and committed to protecting the galaxy by using environmentally sound printing practices. This book was printed with soy-based ink on recycled paper.Printed in the U.S.A.
6. Your Website
Include your author website, so your readers can easily find more of your work.
Visit the author’s website at www.josiebreitling.com.
7. CIP (Catalog-in-Publication) Data Block
Most self-published ebook authors won’t include a CIP data block. A CIP data block is not something you can create yourself. It is not required to publish or sell a book.
The Library of Congress issues a CIP data block to you. It is not something you can create for yourself. However, if you’re a self-publisher, you are not even eligible to have a CIP data issued to you by the Library of Congress.
You can, however, pay to have a P-CIP (Publisher’s Catalog-in-Publication) data block generated for you, if you truly desire. Having P-CIP data can make your book look more professional. It costs anywhere from $60-$100 and can be done by Quality Books, Inc. or CIPblock.com.
However, the only people interested in seeing your CIP data are the librarians, quite frankly. CIP data exists to help them categorize (“catalog”) your book in the library more quickly and easily.
Unless you plan to market your book specifically to librarians, CIP data is unnecessary.
For your reference, a CIP data block looks something like this:
Road, Rocky.Ice cream flavors: a complete biographical history by Sloth and Chunk / Rocky Road.p.cm.
ISBN: 938-27929465-1-8Includes biographical references and index.1. Food – Ice cream – Non-fiction. 2. Food flavors – Non-fiction. 3. History of food – 20th century – Non-fiction. 4. Biographies.I. Title.ID197.C0 Y87 2015329/.047—cc26 9776340872
I really wish this book existed…I would buy it and put it on my coffee table…
A side note for Canadian self-published authors: The National Library of Canada will no longer issues a CIP for self-published books. However, they still offer some free services like ISBNs and others which you can check here. If you’re published, you can obtain your free CIP data by filling out their form here.
If you are located elsewhere, check with your country’s local copyright laws.
The edition of your book, especially if it is not the first edition, is a good thing to note here. Simply write:
List your ISBN, if you have one. Not all books will have one. If you have more than one ISBN, you can list both, for your readers’ reference. Here’s what it will look like:
ISBN 978-1-4767-9386-4 ISBN 978-1-4767-9322-1 (ebook)
Does my book need an ISBN?
That answer varies, depending on where you are going to market your book. It is up to the store selling your book. Here are a few of their (current) answers:
- Amazon (Kindle): No
- Barnes and Noble (ePub): Yes
- Apple iBook (ePub): Yes
- Libraries and bookstores (print books): Yes
Where to get an ISBN
ISBN in the US – http://isbn.org/
ISBN in Canda – http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/publishers/index-e.html
ISBN in the UK – https://www.nielsenisbnstore.com/
ISBN in Australia – http://www.thorpe.com.au/isbn/
ISBN in New Zealand – http://www.natlib.govt.nz/services/get-advice/publishing/isbn
Do I need a separate ISBN for each e-book format?
Yes. You will need separate ISBNs for the different formats of your ebook and your printed book. For example, if you have a Kindle version, an ePub version, a softcover, an audio book, and a hardcover you will need at least four different ISBNs (five, if you want one for your Kindle book too). Go to the ISBN-issuing website here for more details on ISBNs for ebooks.
I’m a self-publisher – can I get an ISBN?
Yes, self-publishers apply for ISBNs, just like any other publisher. All U.S. ISBNs are issued to publishers through a company called Bowker. Go to MyIdentifiers.com to get yours. If you think you’ll be publishing more books (or more versions of your book) down the road, I’d recommend buying a set of 10 ISBNs as a package right away. You’ll get a steep discount that way.
I don’t live in America – can I get an ISBN?
Go to International ISBN Agency to get your ISBN.
An entire book could be written on disclaimers alone. Because our society is increasingly prone to suing at every opportunity, book disclaimers have become a lot more common. Some genres — like investing — might require specific language to stay compliant with the SEC – same goes with health.
For some sample disclaimer language, look inside other books in your genre, which have been published by traditional publishing companies large enough to have a legal staff. Here’s our disclaimer:
We are not lawyers. This website and the content provided herein are simply for educational purposes and do not take the place of legal advice from your attorney. Every effort has been made to ensure that the content provided on this website is accurate and helpful for our readers at publishing time. However, this is not an exhaustive treatment of the subjects. No liability is assumed for losses or damages due to the information provided. You are responsible for your own choices, actions, and results. You should consult your attorney for your specific publishing and disclaimer questions and needs.
Below are two sample disclaimers printed in actual books:
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Some of the recipes in this book include raw eggs. Raw eggs may contain bacteria. It is recommended that you purchase certified salmonella-free eggs from a reliable source and store them in the refrigerator. You should not feed raw eggs to babies or small kids. Likewise, pregnant women, elderly persons, or those with a compromised immune system should not eat raw eggs. Neither the author nor the publisher claims responsibility for adverse effects resulting from the use of the recipes and/or information found within this book.
A legal disclaimer in your book copyright page doesn’t have to be long. Just do a small amount of homework now, and you could save yourself a lot of trouble down the road.
11. Giving Credit
Here is a good place to give credit to anybody else who made some sort of contribution to your book such as the graphic designer who created your book cover, photographers whose photographs you used, the person who formatted your ebook, your editor, or your proofreaders. Here are some examples:
Ebook formatting by Hynek in Prague, Inc.Cover design by High Fiverr Cover Designer
Illustrations © 2017 The Young PadawanEdited by Luke Skywalker of Master Jedi Editing, LLCScripture quotations are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
What if I want to use a photograph that is public domain – should I disclose that and/or use the PD-US logo on my copyright page?
No, it is not necessary.
12. Printing Numbers (and/or years)
Ever wonder what that strange, long string of numbers float along near the bottom of the copyright page means? They are actually there for the publisher’s production department. They represent the printing number (or sometimes, the printing year). Typically they are in descending order, from left to right. However, they can be in ascending or even in random order. They were originally put there so that printing plates for the book wouldn’t need to be remade with each reprint. The applicable number was simply removed from the plate. However, as digital printing and ebooks take over, these are likely to go extinct.
Side note: These numbers are useful for book collectors. Just look for the lowest number on the list; that’s the printing you have. In the example below, we have a copy from the book’s 2nd printing.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Other Copyright FAQs
When is my copyright protection effective?
Your copyright protection goes back to the moment you create the content. We recommend everyone read this brief primer on copyright basics published by the U.S. Copyright Office
Do I need to register my book with the U.S. Copyright Office for my copyright to be effective?
No, you do not. However, there are benefits to doing so. If you register your copyright, you will be able to claim attorney fees and statutory damages, in addition to the actual damages and profits you will get to claim with an unregistered book. You can read more about this at the U.S. Copyright Office’s website. International authors will have to check their country’s own copyright laws.
Do I register for copyright first, or do I submit my published work to Amazon first?
You submit your completed book to Amazon (or other booksellers) first, before registering for your copyright. At the time of writing, books are taking 8-13 months to be processed by the copyright office. There’s a lot of potential profit to be lost in those 8-13 months.