Traditional publishers will write the copyright pages of their authors. when you choose to self-publish a book, you’re not so lucky.luckily, i’m here to make writing a copyright page as simple as possible.most self-publishers are intimidated when it comes to Create the copyright page for your first book. I get it: the fine print and legal jargon were enough to make me apprehensive when I was in his shoes. let me ease your load. Below is a copyright page template that you can copy and paste into your book. I’ll also explain each element of a copyright page, tell you if it’s necessary, and provide an example of each unique element. After reading this post, you will be able to quickly and confidently prepare your own book copyright pages and protect yourself and your works from book piracy.
This is part of a series of posts on how to create the different parts of a book. check out our master guide here.
You are reading: Copyright examples for books
quick disclaimer: thank god I never became a lawyer. this should not be taken as legal advice. And that’s it for my legal disclaimer (or, as I call it, my cya statement). a second disclaimer: the links in this article may give me a small commission if you use them to buy something. It costs you nothing extra and helps me write these helpful articles that you can always read for free.
what is a copyright page for?
A copyright page lets people know that a book is not in the public domain.It is your copyrighted intellectual property. his book may not be copied without permission. this page also contains useful information for distributors, librarians, retailers and booksellers. the copyright page goes on the back of the title page (the back) on the front. read my article on the front and back covers to learn more. Various elements of a copyright page serve various purposes. Traditionally published books contain a lot of information from the publisher, so readers may ask for more books from the author or publisher. self-published authors often put their author’s website instead. A disclaimer can absolve you of legal responsibility for parts of your book. For example, if your cookbook calls for eggs, you can include a disclaimer that eating raw eggs can cause illness. the edition number and press key may be important to future book collectors.
do you need a copyright page?
Yes, you need a copyright page if you want to add an extra layer of protection to your book, whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, a bestseller, or a book that sells 20 copies. if you don’t have a copyright page, your book is still copyrighted. technically you don’t need a special page to copyright your book. it is copyrighted from the moment you write it. however, without the copyright page, your ownership may be more difficult to prove in a court of law. A copyright page discourages plagiarism and advertises you as the owner. think of a “no trespassing” sign. without it, you are still not allowed to trespass. but the sign reinforces the idea. additionally, legal notices may absolve you of any liability with respect to certain parts of the book. all you need on your copyright page is a copyright notice and a copyright notice. like so:
However, there are several elements you don’t need on a copyright page but might consider adding for various reasons.
Take a look at these free editable copyright page templates to get you started.
template #1: the simplest possible copyright page
All you need is a copyright notice and a copyright notice to make your copyright page official. You have my permission to copy this template below and use it however you like.
Template #2: Free Physical Book Copyright Page
If what you need is a physical book copyright page template to copy and paste into your self-published book, here it is. you have my permission to use it however you want.
template #3: free ebook copyright page template
If all you need is an ebook copyright page template to copy and paste into your self-published book, here it is. use it however you want, you have my full permission.
what does a copyright page include?
A copyright page can include the following 15 elements (although not all 15 appear on all copyright pages):
- Copyright notice (required)
- Copyright notice (required)
- Library control number of the congress
- permissions notice
- print edition
- cip data block
- order information</li
- author’s website
- imprint details
- imprint code
- publisher information
Only the copyright notice and the copyright notice are technically necessary to create a copyright page. but the other elements can help people learn more about you as an author, or imprint details, or legal notices that someone inevitably cares about. I know it sounds crazy. but don’t worry I’ll explain each one below and provide an example for all 15 copyright page elements.
1. copyright notice
A copyright notice is one of two required elements on your copyright page. lets the public know who posted this, when they posted it, and that the work is copyrighted. the copyright notice (copyright statement) includes these 3 elements:
- the copyright symbol ©, the word “copyright” or the abbreviation “copr”. (choose one)
- the first year of publication (or multiple years, indicating the publication of the first and new editions)
- the name of the copyright holder ( supposedly, his name or pseudonym)
This is an example of the copyright notice:
what if I use a pseudonym?
go ahead and use your pseudonym on the copyright page of your e-book. or, alternatively, use the name of your publishing company. When you register your copyright, please include your real name and pseudonym on the registration form.
what if i write under my own llc?
If your books are written or published under an LLC or sole proprietorship, you can list your company as the copyright owner on the copyright page of your eBook. There is no difference in the language required, as long as you operate as a sole proprietorship or an LLC. use your business address when including publisher contact details. this can help protect you both legally and physically as you grow as an author. (Your fans can send fan mail to your work address.) For more information on setting up your own publisher, liability protection, tax benefits, and how copyright is affected, check out my article on setting up your own publisher.
2. copyright notice (all rights reserved)
The copyright notice is the second of two required elements on your copyright page. it can simply say, “all rights reserved.” Or you can expand on that statement, making it more precise and more forceful. here is a simple example of copyright notice and copyright notice together:
© 2021 David Chesson. all rights reserved.
Seriously, that’s all you need. technically, if you have the copyright notice and “all rights reserved”, then your book’s copyright page is complete.
all rights reserved example #1 (simpler)
all rights reserved.
all rights reserved example #2
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or parts of it in any form. For more information, contact the publisher at: [email protected].
all rights reserved example #3
all rights reserved. This book or portions thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher, except as provided ready. under the copyright law of the united states of america and fair use. for permission requests, write the editor “Attention: Permissions Coordinator” at the address below.
an isbn (international standard book number) is an identifier for your book. it has no legal purpose. it is used by the global publishing industry to identify your book as unique among others. include your isbn on the copyright page. Not all books will have an ISBN number, but many will. If you have more than one isbn, you can list both for your readers’ reference. this is what an isbn number printed on a copyright page will look like:
isbn 978-1-4767-9386-4 (print)
does my book need an isbn?
yes, your book usually needs an isbn number. However, Amazon does not explicitly require you to enter an ISBN number for your eBook. That answer varies depending on where you’re going to market your book. it depends on the store that sells your book.
- amazon (kindle ebook): no
- barnes and noble (epub): yes
- apple ibook (epub): yes
- libraries and bookstores (printed books): yes
See my article on self-publishing hardcover books for more information on isbns.
where to get an isbn in different countries:
- isbn in usa. uu. – isbn.org
- isbn in Canada – collectionscanada.gc.ca/publishers/index-e.html
- isbn in the UK – nielsenisbnstore.com
- isbn in australia – bowker.com/products/isbn-au.html
- isbn in new zealand – natlib.govt.nz/publishers-and-authors/isbns -issns-and-ismns
Do I need a separate isbn for each ebook format?
yes, you will need separate isbns for the different formats of your e-book and your print book. For example, if you have a Kindle, EPUB, Audiobook, Paperback, and Hardcover format, you’ll need at least 4 different ISBNs (5, if you want one for your Kindle book, too). go to the isbn issuance website here for more details on isbns for e-books.
Do I need an isbn if I’m a self-publisher?
yes, self-publishers need an isbn number, just like any other publisher. All ISBNs are issued to publishers through a company called Bowker. go to myidentifiers.com to get your official isbn.pro tip: If you think you’ll be publishing more books (or more versions of your book) in the future, I’d recommend buying a set of 10 isbns as a package, right? far. you will get a big discount that way.
do i need an isbn if i don’t live in the united states?
yes, you need an isbn in several countries besides america. contact the international isbn agency to get your international isbn.
4. library of congress control number
The Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) is a toll-free number you can get that makes it easy for libraries to catalog your book. authors can apply online for the preassigned control number (pcn) program. this is only necessary if you want your book on library shelves. librarians will not store a book unless it includes a lccn. side note: lccn is a separate (but similar) cataloging-in-publication (cip) data block number.
Disclaimers are where you deny responsibility for particular aspects of your book, such as denying that the characters were based on real people. A disclaimer helps protect the writer and publisher from potential liability. an entire book could be written with just the disclaimers. Because our society is increasingly prone to suing at every opportunity, book disclaimers have become much more common. some genres, such as inversions or health, may require specific language to comply with the section. of its genre published by traditional publishers large enough to have a legal staff.
A legal disclaimer on your book’s copyright page doesn’t have to be long. but a little disclaimer could save you a lot of trouble down the line.here’s kindlepreneur’s disclaimer:
Here’s another example of a disclaimer, but in a non-fiction book:
Here is an example of a book disclaimer about resemblance to real places, people, or events:
6. permission notice
You must include a permissions notice if you used any copyrighted material with the permission of the owner. this announces that it has searched for and obtained the necessary permissions. this is different from the next item, credits, because a permissions notice is needed if you used copyrighted material. credits are a courtesy; you didn’t have to ask permission to use the book cover your designer made for your book. example permission notice on a copyright page:
give credit to anyone who made a contribution to your book, such as:
- the graphic designer who created your book cover design
- the photographers whose photos you used
- your formatting service
- editor (en)
Can I use a photo from the public domain? You can use a photo from your book that is in the public domain. however, make sure it is actually in the public domain. no amount of waffling can protect you from accidentally using a copyrighted photo you thought was in the public domain. you do not have to disclose that you used public domain photos. you don’t have to use the pd-us logo.2 examples of credits on a copyright page:
8. print edition
It is good to include the edition of your book, especially if it is not the first edition. just write “second edition” or “third edition: December 2020”. Here’s an example of a print edition on its copyright page:
9. cip data block (catalog in publication)
Most self-published eBook authors will not include a cip data block. a cataloging-in-publication (cip) data block is not required to publish or sell a book. the library of congress can issue a cip data block to authors. it is not something you can create for yourself. however, if you are a self-publisher, you are not eligible to obtain a cip data block. however, you can pay to have a p-cip (publisher’s catalog in publication) block of data generated. having p-cip data can make your book look more professional. It costs between $60 and $100 and can be done through cipblock.com. frankly, the only people interested in seeing your cip data will be librarians. cip data exists to help you categorize (“catalogue”) your book in the library more quickly and easily. Unless you plan to market your book specifically to librarians, cip data is not necessary.an example cip data block looks like this:
a side note for Canadian self-published authors
the national library of canada will no longer issue a cip for self-published books. however, they still offer some free services like isbns and others. If it’s published, you can get your free cip data by filling out their form here. If you are located outside of Canada, please consult your local copyright laws in your country to make the correct decision on cip data for your copyright page.
10. order information
The ordering information section includes information for individuals or organizations that would like to order more copies of your book. Different information may be included for people looking to place individual orders, bulk bookstore orders, college classroom orders, etc. ordering information often does not apply to self-published e-books. example ordering information on copyright page:
11. author’s website
Include your author’s website on your copyright page so readers can easily find more of your work.Here’s an example of what an author’s website looks like on the copyright page copyright:
12. print details
On the copyright page, you can include any details about your publisher’s environmentally friendly printing practices, location of printing, fonts you used, etc.here are 3 examples of print details to include on copyright page :
disclose any trademarks your publisher may have in names, logos, or imprints included in your book.example of a trademark on the copyright page:
14. printer key
The printer key is not typical of self-published books or e-books. Ever wonder what that weird long string of numbers floating near the bottom of the copyright page means? those numbers are really there for the production department of the publisher. they represent the printing number (or sometimes, the year of printing). each editor has its own unique method. they are usually in descending order, from left to right. however, they can be in ascending or even random order. they were initially placed there so that the book’s printing plates would not have to be remade with each reprint. the applicable number was simply removed from the plate. however, as digital print and e-books take over, they are likely to disappear. side note: these numbers are useful for book collectors. just look for the lowest number on the list; that’s the impression you have. another note: a printer’s key is different from the edition number. there may be multiple editions of the same edition.
In the following example, the press key indicates that we have a second edition copy of the book:
15. publisher info
For traditionally published books, publisher information is usually included so readers know who and how to contact for permission to reproduce. this may include your address (or just city), website, social media, logo, or other contact information. for self-published authors, you can put your name, pseudonym, and/or the author’s website in place of the publisher’s information. .The following is an example of the publisher information on the copyright page of a traditionally published book:
how to make sure an e-reader doesn’t bypass your copyright
You may have noticed that when you open an e-book on a kindle or other device, it usually doesn’t start from the beginning (ie your book cover).
instead, amazon and other retailers estimate where the book begins, and in some cases this can lead to a reader starting with chapter 1 and missing their copyright page entirely.
so, assuming you want people to open your copyright page (and they may not), you need a way for readers to start there, rather than chapter 1.
luckily, atticus is the only formatting program that allows you to do this.
all you have to do is go to the format settings and scroll down until you find the section called ebook settings.
From there, simply select where you want readers to start when they first open your book.
This inserts a special code into the eBook file that lets Amazon know exactly where to open the book for new readers. it’s that simple!
atticus is currently the only formatting software that allows you to customize your book’s home page, and not only that, but it also works on virtually every platform, and it’s over $100 cheaper than the competition (which doesn’t have this homepage feature).
other frequently asked questions about copyright
how do I get copyright to my book?
Your book is copyrighted at the time you write it. you may want to copyright it to make it more official and legally airtight. read my article on how to copyright your book. To register your copyright, visit copyright.gov. the copyright process takes 6-13 months, so you should probably publish your book before the copyright is fully registered.
when is my copyright protection effective?
Your copyright protection is effective when you create the content: the moment you type words into your book writing software or put pen to paper. however, registering your copyright adds an extra layer of protection. We recommend that everyone read this brief primer on copyright basics published by the us. uu. copyright office.
do i need to register my book in the usa? u? copyright office for my copyright to be effective?
no, you do not need to register your book in the us. uu. copyright office for your copyright to be effective. however, there are benefits to doing so. If you register your copyright, you can claim attorneys’ fees and statutory damages, in addition to the damages and actual profits you can claim with an unregistered book. you can read more about this in the usa. uu. copyright office website. international authors should check the copyright laws unique to their country.
do i register for copyright first or do i need to submit my published work to amazon first?
Before registering your copyright, you must first submit your published work to amazon kdp (or other booksellers). at the time of writing, it takes 6-13 months for books to be processed by the copyright office. a lot of potential earnings can be lost in those 6 to 13 months. Please share this helpful article with your fellow self-publishers!