Dissecting the Published Book: What’s in a Copyright Page?

Many traditionally published authors will never have to ask themselves this question. However, if you are among the growing majority of authors who are investing in self-publishing, you will find yourself quickly becoming a guru of publishing factoids. The copyright page is a vital part of your book that will protect your rights as an author and will give important information to identify the book. Missing even one step of the copyright page can be very detrimental to your book. Below are the important sections in a copyright page in order from the top of the page to the bottom.

Cover Credit (Optional): If you had a graphic artist or photography design your cover, you can give them credit here. It will usually look like this: Cover design by (artist’s name here).

Copyright Year: This is extremely important and will protect your rights to the book. The line will look like this: Copyright © (year the book was first published) (publishing company name). Underneath, you should have the line: All Rights Reserved. An example looks like this:

Copyright © 2014 Allwrite Advertising and Publishing

All Rights Reserved.

Remember, as a self-publisher, you are your own publishing company. Therefore, you will have to come up with your own publishing company name.

Copyright Claim: This is a standard copyright claim for all books. For fiction books, it will usually look something like this:

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.

For memoirs, historical fiction, or non-fiction books, you might want to include a claim like this:

This book is based on actual events and persons. However, names and some likenesses have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved in the events.

Publishing Address: As a self-published author, you want to make it especially easy for people to contact you about your book if they want to purchase it, review it, etc. The publishing address is a great way to do that. Here, you want to start it with a line such as, “Address inquiries to the publisher.” Then, you can include a physical address (you may want to get a P.O. Box if you do not want to give readers your home address), an email address, and/or a website.

Printing Details: Here, you will want to include the year and place your book was initially printed. An example might look like this:

First Printing: August 2014

Printed and bound in the United States of America

ISBN Number: Your ISBN number is, in essence, your book’s social security number. The person who owns the ISBN number, in short, owns the rights to the book, so you’ll want to make sure to register and purchase your own ISBN number. You should use the 13-digit number here and include the dashes.

Library of Congress Control Number: The Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) registers your book with the Library of Congress. As with the ISBN number, you will want to register for this number yourself.

With those elements in place, you will have a professional copyright page for your self-published book! For more information about the process of self-publishing, please email us at editor@e-allwrite.com.

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