How much does it cost to copyright a book?

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  • July 17, 2023
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  • 7 min read

Book Writing


If you’re an aspiring writer, you might be curious about how much it will cost to copyright the book you wrote. Copyright protection is crucial for defending your intellectual property rights and preventing unauthorized duplication or distribution of your work, much like the detailed guidance provided in Copyright and Intellectual Property. We’ll go into great detail about copyright book expenses in this article, giving you helpful tips and knowledge to guide you through the procedure. So let’s get started and learn the true cost of copyrighting a book.

What is copyright, and Why is it Important?

The right of the author to restrict the use and dissemination of their work is protected by copyright. Under copyright laws, authors are entitled to pay if someone utilizes their work without consent. This means you must obtain permission before using someone else’s work, even if it only contains a few words or phrases they have taken directly from another source, as discussed in What is Copyright: The Art of Portraying Real-Life Stories.

The most frequent way for this is when someone pastes text from another website or publication onto their own as though it were their original work. This is prohibited and is referred to as plagiarism.

Copyrights also prevent the unauthorized conversion of written or visual works into other mediums, including films or video games. For instance, if someone wants to develop a movie based on your book, they must first get your consent to do so lawfully since they will require access to your book (including any characters, story points, scenes, or settings) to do so. Ghostwriting Founder provides a full-scale solution from writing to protecting your book, ensuring your work is safe as outlined in our Book Publishing Services process.

How much does it cost to get a copyright?

The cost of registering your copyright book will vary based on what you’re registering and how you choose to register (online or by mail).

For instance, as of the writing of this article, the fees for registering the copyright of a single piece of work are as follows:

  • Online registration: $45
  • Standard Application$65
  • Registration by mail: $125

Here are more details about fees for registering different types of work:

  • Registering a claim in a group of unpublished works: $85
  • Registering a claim in a group of published photographs or unpublished photographs: $55
  • Registering a claim in a group of works published on a music album: $65
  • Registering a claim in a group of serials (per issue, minimum two issues): $35
  • Registering a claim in a group of newspapers or newsletters: $95
  • Registering a claim in a group of contributions to periodicals: $85
  • Registering a claim in a group of short online literary works: $65
  • Registering updates or revisions to a predominantly non-photographic database: $500

Are there any other fees or expenses related to a book’s copyright?

If you encounter difficulties while completing the registration form, whether it’s online or using a paper form, or if your copyright situation is more complex—for example, if you are one of several creators of a collaborative work—you may consider seeking assistance from an intellectual property attorney. In such cases, your overall expenses would naturally be higher.

Furthermore, if someone infringes upon your work and you decide to file a lawsuit, you must pay the associated fees and expenses. Additionally, if you intend to earn income by licensing your copyright, you will incur extra costs for obtaining legal advice to assist you with the licensing process.

However, for many individuals, the only cost involved in registering a copyright is the fee the Copyright Office charges.

What is the process for registering a copyright?

Even though you own the rights to your original and creative work by default, it’s still a good idea to file it. Registering your copyright book gives you a lot of benefits, including the ability to sue anyone who violates your rights. This is a strong reason for most people to complete the registration form. Once you copyright your work, you can easily do book promotion and marketing.

The good news is that copyright registration is a fairly simple process that can be done online or by mail:

Online registration

Go to the U.S. Copyright Office website and follow the steps to register your copyright book online.

Email registration

If you would rather sign up by mail, you can download the right form from the Copyright Office’s forms page. Fill out the form, add your cash, and send it to the Copyright Office.

Can I get a copyright for free?

If you make something new and put it in a physical or digital form, like writing it down or making a recording, you automatically have copyright protection, which is an essential aspect of How to Self-Publish a Book. This means you can claim copyright over your work as soon as you write it down or record it.

For example, let’s look at a situation that involves a book. If you just tell a story out loud and don’t write it down or record it, it stays temporary and can’t be called “fixed in a tangible form of expression.” But if you write the story down or type it on a computer, you have saved it in a way that won’t go away. This means that copyright laws can protect it. Doing this automatically gives you the right to write the story down.

So, the answer to the query, “Can I get a copyright for free?” is yes. Getting a copyright book is automatic and starts working as soon as your unique work is put on a means that will last.

But you need to register your copyright book if you want better protections that make it easier to defend your rights and control how they are used, and for a comprehensive understanding, our Book Editing Services can help ensure your work is ready for that step.

Main Attributes and Elaborate Information

Concept Details Considerations
Nature of Copyright Legal right to restrict the use and distribution of one’s work. Understand the significance of protecting intellectual property.
Cost of Copyright Registration Varies based on registration method and type of work. Consider budget for online or mail registration and additional fees for specific categories.
Additional Expenses Legal advice and lawsuit costs in cases of infringement. Budget for potential legal costs and licensing processes.
Registration Process Can be completed online or by mail through the U.S. Copyright Office. Choose the most convenient and cost-effective registration method.
Automatic Protection Copyright automatically applies to original work in tangible form. Acknowledge inherent copyright upon creation of work without registration.
Benefits of Formal Registration Legal advantages and ease of defending rights. Weigh the benefits of registration against its cost.
Conclusion & Action Copyright secures rights and enables worry-free publishing. Secure copyright to protect and monetize your creative work effectively.


Getting a copyright book is important to protect your rights and keep control over your work. Copyright protection happens automatically when you create something, but registering your copyright with the right authorities has many legal advantages. The cost of copyrighting a book includes fees for filing, possible extra fees for multiple authors or works, and optional expenses for faster processing or legal help. Knowing the process and costs can help you make good decisions and protect your book well.

Remember, copyright registration protects your book and gives you peace of mind so you can easily do book publishing, and for more information on the journey from manuscript to published work, check out How to Publish a Book. You can focus on writing and being creative without worrying about others using or copying your work without permission. So, take the necessary steps to secure your copyrighted book and enjoy the rewards of your hard work.

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