Do I Need to Copyright My Short Stories Individually? Nope!

I am a short story writer, and am putting together a website to market my stories — at a rate of one new story per month. I have the ‘store’ set up with PayPal and my ‘merchandising’ platform close to being ready. However, a self-published author has told me that I need to get each story published through a ‘real’ publishing house, ISBN number, the works, in order to protect that story. Is this true?

No. You can and should try to promote and sell your short stories yourself if you are selling them individually. Once you have a few in your collection, you can copyright a batch of your stories (instead of doing them individually) at the same time, for the same price as you would if you were copyrighting just one story. I copyright batches of issues of The Write Markets Report and pay the same fee as if I’d copyrighted each issue individually.

The forms are online here:

Later, you can publish collections of your short stories into books (we’ve done several of those at and each collection can then also be copyrighted as a book.


A practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.