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Terrene A. Davenport, Copyright Your Work

Copyright Your Work, Advice for Indie's

April, 2020

This is a quick how-to for registering your literary work with the Library of Congress. It's something all independent authors should do prior to publishing their work on a public platform or entering into a writing contest. It includes non-fiction works, as well! If you already published your work on a platform such as Amazon or Google Play, fear not! The standard application is for you, too. Be sure to review the fees associated with copyrights on page 7 of the Copyright Office Fees Circa 4 pamphlet. Generally electronic submissions range from $45 to $65 with no additional services. Be sure your work is COMPLETED so that modifications aren't necessary, corrections and amplifications start at $100!

Step One

Go to the copyright registration page and create an account - click here. Two lines under the LOGIN button, you'll find the link for new user. The registration process is typical, asking for your name, address, and preferred method of contact.


Registration complete

Onto Step Two...

Now that your registered, it's time to put together your package for application. For those of you (like me) who didn't copyright prior to publishing, you will use the standard application. For those of you who are completely unpublished as of today, you will use this same application. The following is required for STANDARD applications:

  • The title of the work

  • The year the work was completed

  • The date and nation of first publication, if the work has been published when the application is submitted

  • The name of the author or author(s), unless the work is anonymous or pseudonymous

  • If the work is a work made for hire,* a statement to this effect

  • The name and address of the claimant(s)

  • If the claimant is not the author,* a brief statement explaining how the claimant obtained ownership of the copyright

  • A description of the work being submitted for registration

  • A statement describing any preexisting material contained in the work being submitted for registration

  • The name of the individual certifying the facts provided in the application

​*Note: The application for “One Work by One Author” cannot be used to register a “work made for hire.” Likewise, you cannot use the application for “One Work by One Author” if the author is not the claimant for this work.  If you are registering a “work made for hire” or if the author and the claimant are not the same person, you should use the Standard Application. 

Got everything you need? It's time to begin!

To access the Standard Application, return to the “Home” screen and select “Standard Application.”

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