Copyright Page Samples You Can Copy and Paste Into Your Book

by Joel Friedlander on January 15, 2010 · 127 comments

copyrightOne of the most common questions I get from new self-publishers is, “What do I put on the copyright page?” For some reason, the copyright page has the power to intimidate some people, with its small print and legalistic language, not to mention all those mysterious numbers.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few necessary items on the copyright page, and others that publishers add for various reasons. I’ve treated the copyright page in some detail in other posts, so if you want background please check here: Self-Publishing Basics: The Copyright Page. In a guest post, Joanne Bolton supplied some useful information for books that are printed overseas, and you can find her post here: Copyright Page Requirements for Books Printed Overseas.

To see the place of the copyright page within the book as a whole, check out An Unabridged List of the Parts of a Book.

The only elements required on a copyright page are the copyright notice itself:

© 2009 Joel Friedlander

And some statement giving notice that the rights to reproduce the work are reserved to the copyright holder.

All Rights Reserved.

Next you’ll see two versions of the copyright page, one long page with a CIP data block and a short version. Feel free to copy and paste these into your book file. Just remember to put your own information in.

Sample of a Long Copyright Page with CIP Data Block

Here’s an example of a copyright page that has the necessary elements, then adds ordering information, web address, CIP Data block (I’ve put this in blue so you can identify what is included; replace this with your own or delete it if you’re not obtaining CIP), edition information, and printing numbers (the string at the bottom) and dates for future editions.

Copyright © 2010 by Bill Shakespeare

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

Imaginary Press
1233 Pennsylvania Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94909

Ordering Information:
Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address above.
Orders by U.S. trade bookstores and wholesalers. Please contact Big Distribution: Tel: (800) 800-8000; Fax: (800) 800-8001 or visit

Printed in the United States of America

Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication data
Shakespeare, William.
A title of a book : a subtitle of the same book / Bill Shakespeare ; with Ben Johnson.
p. cm.
ISBN 978-0-9000000-0-0
1. The main category of the book —History —Other category. 2. Another subject category —From one perspective. 3. More categories —And their modifiers. I. Johnson, Ben. II. Title.
HF0000.A0 A00 2010
299.000 00–dc22 2010999999

First Edition

14 13 12 11 10 / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

A Short Copyright Page Example

Here’s a very short and to the point copyright page. It gives the necessary elements and not much more:

Copyright © 2010 by Wily E. Coyote
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Printed in the United States of America

First Printing, 2010

ISBN 0-9000000-0-0

Falling Anvil Publishing
123 Mesa Street
Scottsdale, AZ 00000

This is the quick and easy way to get generic copyright page language into your book. Even with this short example, your copyright page will do the job it’s supposed to do, and give interested parties the means to contact you for publishing-related questions.

Next: Tomorrow we’ll cover using disclaimers and giving credit on the copyright page. Watch for it, and let me know if you have questions about the copyright page. I’ll see if I can answer them.

Self-Publisher's-Quick-Easy-Guide-CopyrightWant to know more about copyright? Need some sample copyright pages to drop into your book? Confused about the things you read online about copyright? Check out this 30-page easy-to-read guide. Click The Self-Publisher’s Quick & Easy Guide to Copyright for more info, or Buy Now as PDF or Kindle.

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    { 109 comments… read them below or add one }

    laura diamond September 24, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I am self publishing a book of aquatic exercises (194 exercises -illustrations and printed instructions one to a page),on create space, e book, and a spiral bound book that I will sell locally to my patients. I have not secured a copyright. Do I need one or can I just put the following:
    © Diamond Physical Therapy Associates, PC 2015. All Rights Reserved.

    Do I need an ISBN number?

    Additionally I would like to give the user permission to copy exercises for their own use, but my intent is that they do not copy them for others. Can you suggest some effective language that would convey this message?

    Here is the fist sentence that I came up with: “We invite you to copy pages from this book for your personal use only.”

    Thanks for your thoughts and for this website!


    Zulie September 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    I am currently doing an online course which has an assignment of creating a website, I am done with all of it, except for the last part of it that says ” ensure the website is copyright protected by the department of energy” – I was like ” (c) protected by the Department of Energy” do you think that is correct?


    Joel Friedlander September 11, 2015 at 11:38 am

    No, and as far as I know, the Department of Energy has nothing to do with copyright, which is administered by the Library of Congress. Although copyrighting a website or blog can be complicated, you might be able to just put your own copyright statement on the site to satisfy the course requirement. See the one in the footer here for an example.


    Lynn August 21, 2015 at 10:15 am


    I have a question. I have already received my copyright (01/14/11) My question is, photos for the front and back covers. Do I have to contact the person or company that created the photo in order to use it? Or can I create my own? What all do I have to do in this phase of self publishing? 1


    Joel Friedlander August 25, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Lynn, if you want to use someone else’s photos on your book, you need to get their permission first. If you create your own photos or artwork, of course you’re free to use it as you wish.


    Dawn July 16, 2015 at 8:32 am

    When denoting an edition, must one use “first”, “second”, etc or is it okay to say “Early Edition”?


    sharon July 12, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Thank you for your page, so informative.
    I have written a childrens book which is being illustrated. I have bought the commercial licence for each illustration but not the copyright because for now, I can’t afford them. Can I still put “all rights reserved” when I don’t own the copyrights? If not, what do I put? Do I still have rights even though I only own the commercial licences?
    Thank you so much.


    Tom July 11, 2015 at 12:13 pm


    I am working on an espionage/mystery that is intended to be the third book in a trilogy. The first is “Edge of Allegiance,” the second is “Lie Not in Wait”. I have a cover in mind that seems perfect for the book. It an image of Cain slaying Abel from the painting by Jacopo Tintoretto. Is it legal simply to take a photo of one of the images of the painting on a website and give attribution, or do I have to pay someone to use it?


    Tayla July 12, 2015 at 4:40 am


    It would sadly be classifies as an act of copywrite if the picture is intended so. However if you were to get permission to use it that would be a complete different matter.


    Joel Friedlander July 12, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Tom, no, it’s not “legal.” You can find stock photo sources for these kinds of images, then license them properly, it won’t cost much.


    Joan June 27, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Correction to my last post: My book’s copyright status is stated as:
    Open – Cases currently in process in the Copyright Office. (not pending ‘as I posted earlier’)


    Joan June 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Hello Joel, I am new to the world of writing and self-publishing. I have written and illustrated my first Children’s Picture book. Q: My application for copyright is complete with e-files sent to them just days ago but the status on my title states ‘pending’. Can I include the copyright symbol and year now or is conformation from their office required first? My book is complete. e-files have been sent to print source and now waiting for my approval of proof. Also, I would like to make this book available to Libraries and schools. How beneficial or essential is a LCCN inclusion on my copyright page? I do have my ISBN. I’m anxious to put this out but want everything done right. And, I don’t have nor plan on having my own web site at this time. I am setting up a Face Book page for my book and plan to use the social media platforms to promote. Could I reference a Face Book page on my copyright page in the book? Thanks in advance. You website is a wealth of info and much appreciated by this new comer.


    Joel Friedlander June 29, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Joan, the copyright symbol and language should be on the copyright page when you publish the book. The Copyright Office, last time I checked, was taking almost a year to return copyright forms to filers, but that has no influence on your copyright or how you should produce your book.


    Hennie June 5, 2015 at 4:21 am

    If an author uses generic stories in his books (Mr So and so and so killed himself by locking himself in boxcar), is it fair to use these stories in an ebook or other publication that you own? Most of the stories can be found online in blogs and peoples pages as well.


    Ken Owens May 17, 2015 at 4:49 am

    Sir, I’m now completing my autobiography as a photographer. I will be adding photographs from my non-profit organization where I worked. Can I just put the “©” saying that all photographs are copyrighted by so-so organization or must it be more specific? Thank you for helping!


    Fred Schenkelberg May 9, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Hi Joel,

    If I’d like to use a creative commons license instead of a copyright, are those separate and mutually exclusive or not. What would change on the copyright page?


    Joel Friedlander May 19, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Fred, Creative Commons is a private extension of the permissions granted by copyright. For a fuller discussion, see this article: Creative Commons: What Every Self-Publisher Ought to Know.


    lin May 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Hi, In my authors group, there is a discussion about putting a local address or a p o box on the copyright page. Can you use a p o box or is it even necessary to add an address if you are a self publisher. Why not just put your email there or website for contact.
    This is such a great place to visit and learn.


    E May 18, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    You would put your address or P.O. Box if you wanted another way for people to contact you. It is not necessary to add this information, but using email addresses and phone numbers is a newer technology, and adding the physical address of the publisher is more of an old-fashioned way of publishing things. However you want to be contacted is what you should put.


    Raya Gray May 5, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Dear Joel,

    My partner is a dentist and he is planning to publish an educational book for patients about dentistry.

    Could you kindly let me know if we can include his title in the copyright statement, e.g. © 2015 Dr Iain Smith
    Thank you in advance for your help, Kind regards


    MAYOWA IBRAHIM April 29, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Greetings to you Mr. Joel Friedlander. I’m a young passionate writer. My first book is almost ready for printing but I have the challenge of copyrighting my book and getting ISBN. I want to get the book to online stores, will it be sufficient for me to copyright and get ISBN from Nigeria on the book or do I still have some home work to do? Your reply will be appreciated. Thanks for being there for us who want to make a difference.


    Joel Friedlander April 29, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Mayowa, if you—the publisher—are located in Nigeria, then you should get your ISBN there and conform to Nigerian copyright practices.


    EJA April 1, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Can two parties own the copyright?
    As in: © 2009 John Doe & Jane Roe


    Joel Friedlander April 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    EJA, yes, any book with more than one author is in the same category. You just list both authors and describe their contributions when you file your copyright form.


    Caroline February 9, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    I am in the process of self publishing my book with Amazon create space. I erroneously told them my copyright date for my book was 2008.
    I just got my certificate for this book from the US copyright office where they have 2010 as the year of completion.
    Do you think this will cause a problem?. It’s not too late for me to change the date with Amazon since I’m still in the proofing stage but they will charge me.

    I appreciate your advice on this.
    Thanks !!


    Melanie February 4, 2015 at 5:28 am

    Hello – I am getting ready to self publish my first book (and am very excited!) I have been told so many different things regarding the copyright page I wanted to get your input.
    I write for children and use a pen name. Do I copyright under the pen name or my real name? (I don’t want anyone to know my real name yet.) I was considering getting a registered trademark for my pen name so that in the future, there is legal documentation that the pen name is associated with Me (real name). (I have heard that this can be a problem with family members proving that the fictitious person is really their family member.
    Second – If I am self publishing, what do I use as a “publisher”? Amazon KDP? Is it even necessary to put that on the copyright page?
    I’m sorry if I am rambling – I am just stalled at the moment and need a little help. Thanks!


    wendy brown May 19, 2015 at 7:07 am

    I have the same query as Melanie about being reluctant to reveal anything but my pen name for my first book. I would like to use my pen name on the copywright page but if I do this how can I safe guard ownership?


    Joel Friedlander May 19, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Wendy and Melanie, you can display your copyright notice in the book in your pen name or your publishing company name, then you’ll use your real name on your copyright registration.


    Gabriel January 31, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I am doing a personal research. I have 2 books which I need to photocopy 3 to 4 pages out of each one of them, and send it to a very well know University in the UK. There is any reason I can not sent those copies to the University? They are just a statement to prove parts of my letter. Those two books are both produced in Portugal one is from 1961 very special edition only available in the U.S. only in the Library of the Congress, and the other one is in English only available in Portugal for the general public but is sailed on the museum book store on 500 available.


    Joel Friedlander February 2, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Gabriel, you can certainly photocopy the pages to send to the university, there’s no copyright infringement in that.


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