“Should I wait for the Library of Congress to process my copyright registration before I publish my book?”

“Should I wait for the Library of Congress to process my copyright registration before I publish my book?”

Q –

Hi Angela,

I am a little confused about the copyright process. On July 6, 2018, I submitted my application to the Library of Congress for a copyright. I was told that I had to wait 12 weeks for an account or case number. I called today and got the case number. I asked how long it would take before we would receive the copyright number. They said it will take an average of 13 more months.

So, I said that it would mean a delay of at least 13 months before I could publish m book. The person said they will send us a certificate of registration. She seemed to indicate that I could go ahead and publish without it and use the IBSN number. The certificate comes in the mail.

Since I am new to applying for a copyright, is it possible that I can publish the book with the ISBN number, and still say that the copyright is owned by me, and that all rights are reserved? Is it okay if I receive the copyright registration after we publish the book?

A –

When registering a copyright for a book, nobody waits for the government anymore. A wait of more than a year to receive your certificate is ridiculous. Heck, if your book is non-fiction, some of it could be irrelevant before the book hits the market!

When you register online, you must upload a copy of your manuscript. If you must sue someone in the future for infringement, you can easily prove that your book contained that text when you uploaded it to the Library of Congress.

Incidentally, if you don’t want to go though the headache of copyright registration (the website is not very user friendly – it tends to keep bouncing you back to pages you already completed), WritersWeekly’s Author Service Center offers the service for only $99. And, that includes the government’s registration fees.

If any author, regardless of who published (or is publishing) their book, wants us to perform this headache for them, we’ll be happy to, and THE AUTHOR will receive email confirmation of the filing and THE AUTHOR will receive the final registration certificate from the Library of Congress. We never recommend allowing another publisher to control the name on a copyright certificate when the author retains all rights.


(all amounts include the associated federal filing fees)

WritersWeekly’s Author Service Center: $99

LegalZoom: $169

AuthorHouse: $170

iUniverse: $170

Xulon Press: $199

Mill City Press: $199

Balboa Press: $204

Xlibris: $249

InfinityPublishing/FastPencil: $299 (includes LCCN)

Trafford.com: Must purchase $1499 publishing package

Westbow Press: Must purchase $1,995 publishing package

Lulu: Must purchase $1,999 publishing package

Dog Ear Publishing: Service not offered

Outskirts Press: Service not offered

BookBaby: Service not offered



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