How to Write a Copyright Page

illustration of a person thinking about a book with another person dressed as a burglar attempting to steal the thought bubble.

For most writers, the Copyright page is among the least exciting pages to write. The cryptic, legal-sounding writing can be daunting and leave you wondering where to start. Fortunately, copyright pages are really more of a tradition than a necessity and getting it wrong (or even leaving it out) usually isn’t the end of the world.

What a Copyright Page Does and Doesn’t Do

When you publish your book, it becomes copyrighted. And this happens even if you don’t have a copyright page.  In other words, the copyright page is only clarifying your book’s copyright—not creating it. 

What copyright page does do, however, is provide you with a space to give your readers additional information and context about your book. You can put the ISBN(s) here, you can put the year(s) it was published, you can put your or your publisher’s website. It’s also a good place for any disclaimers you may want to include. Things like “This is a work of fiction, resemblances are purely coincidental” or “The names of certain individuals have been changed or omitted”, whatever you feel is important.

How It Should Look

There are plenty of templates online you can look at to get ideas. Your book’s copyright page could be long, containing a disclaimer, ISBN(s), and additional information. Or it could just be a couple of lines, stating the copyright year and a brief “All Rights Reserved.”   It’s entirely up to you!  As we mentioned before, the book’s publication creates the copyright so whether you choose to be verbose or spare, your content is still protected the same.

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