This post by Daniel Lefferts originally appeared on Publishers Weekly on 12/15/14.
As self-published works grow in popularity, indie authors are increasingly in a position to market their book to foreign publishers or to agents and producers working in film, TV, and theater. But before authors can do that, they need know their rights.
Copyrighting Your Work
Without the guidance of literary agents, indie authors have to take extra-special care to protect their rights—including copyright—when negotiating with a self-publishing service.
Seth Dellon, director of new product development at PubMatch, a rights management resource for publishers, agents, and authors, says that, while indie authors technically own the copyright to any original work they produces automatically, it’s worth it for them to register their copyright. “You want to make sure that you register everything that you do,” he says, adding that the act of publishing itself constitutes “proof that you [own] it.”