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: Using disclaimers and giving credit on the copyright page. Let me know if you have questions about the copyright page. I’ll see if I can answer them.