Sample Copyright Pages [Two Free Templates for Your Book]

by | Sep 10, 2021

So why exactly do you need a sample copyright page?

One 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.

nonfiction book outline template v2

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 Copyright Page #1: Long Version 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
www.imaginarypress.com

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 www.bigbooks.com.

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

Sample Copyright Page #2: Short Version

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

www.FallingAnvilBooks.com

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.

If you’re looking for a company to help you finish the formatting and design of your book, look no further. We now have publishing packages to help you.

207 Comments

  1. Margaret Gee

    Having just signed my Revocable Trust documents, I’ve also had prepared an Assignment to transfer all my previous novels into the Trust. For future novels I write, I will list myself as author and the Trust as claimant when registering with the Copyright Office. On the copyright page of my next novel, would I then list the Trust after the copyright symbol and year, or would just my name be sufficient or do I list both the Trust and my name? And do I need to revise the copyright pages of my previous novels to reflect the Trust?

    Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Margaret, I have had a trust listed on the copyright page of a book I worked on. We got the exact wording needed from the author’s attorneys. I would recommend you check with your estate and intellectual property attorney for the correct wording for your book.

      Reply
  2. Sara Joe

    Thanks for the thoughtful tips and explanation.

    Reply
  3. Richard Bell

    I have read everything and still have one basic question. I am going to convert from CS only and get an ISBN so I can do Ingram. I am just an individual indie author with no company. What do I do about the Imprint? Can I use my own name as author and publisher? What are my options to be as simple as possible?
    Thanks for your help and I hope you still monitor this link.
    Regards,
    Richard Bell

    Reply
  4. Melissa

    What would be the correct footer for a book (it’s a planner) copyrighted in 2010 and edited in 2017. Is this OK (c would be correct symbol):

    c 2000 by Jane Doe edited 2017

    Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Melissa, I think you are referring to running heads (or running feet). Normally in a book, the running heads/feet contain the title of the book and the author’s name (although it could contain the part and chapter titles, or other variations for a traditional book or you may not need anything for a planner). The copyright information (the year the book is being published–not written or edited) belongs on the copyright page only (not on every page). Using one of the examples above in this article is all you need for the copyright information.

      Reply
  5. john

    i need to write an unwritten book.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      You may need to stock up on invisible ink.

      Reply
      • Margaret

        haha

        Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Warren,

      You’ll notice these numbers in the article above: 14 13 12 11 10 / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. These numbers correspond to the year the book was published (2010) and this is a first printing (since all the numbers from 10 to 1 appear). On the second printing, you need to delete the “1” at the end of the string, which indicates that this is a second printing.

      Reply
      • Timothy Archibong Esu

        …This information is cool… Thanks Sharon…

        Timothy

        Reply
      • ZilWerks

        In old days the lead casting had the numbers on them, and when they printed another set (edition) of a book they simply struck off the number.
        I am perhaps the last of my generation to learn hot-type.

        Reply
        • Joel Friedlander

          Zil, there are plenty of us still around who learned hot type, locked up forms, and did make ready. Welcome.

          Reply
  6. Yvette

    Thanks for this useful info. Can i also use the above sample for service or eCommerce copyright?

    Reply
  7. hazel

    i would like to ask if i can use this for my story on wattpad ? i will use the short copyright

    Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Hazel, feel free to copy and paste the samples above (as applicable) into your book file. Just remember to put your own information in.

      Reply
    • Brittany

      I write on Wattpad as well here for the same thing lol .

      Reply
      • Mbalenhle

        Same here, that’s legit why i searched for this

        Reply
  8. Manasa

    hello friends , can some one help me with this ? can we write like this ” © xxx Inc., 2017. All rights reserved, v1.0.0 .” for releasing my app in the playstore ?

    Thanks ,
    Manasa

    Reply
  9. Angel

    Thank you for this! I’m would like to ask for your permission to use “Short Copyright Page Example” for our school project which is a collection of poems.

    Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Angel, feel free to copy and paste these into your book file. Just remember to put your own information in.

      Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Angel, feel free to use the examples for your project.

      Reply
  10. Rain Wolfe

    Is there anything for 2017? Or is it the same?

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Rain, nothing affected by the information in this post has changed.

      Reply
      • Rain Wolfe

        Thanks Joel!

        Reply
  11. Lázaro A. dos Santos

    Alô. Eu gostaria de saber como e onde eu devo registrar as minhas fotos! Ficarei muito agradecido se desde já pela vossa preciosa ajuda.

    Reply
    • George Garrigues

      “Hello. I would like to know how and where I should register my pics! I will be very thankful for your precious help from now on.”

      You don’t need to “register,” or “registrar,” any photos. You own the
      copyright merely by creating them. What exactly are you trying to do?

      Reply
  12. Elizabeth

    Hello and thanks so much for this info. If I do not own a registered copyright, can I still have some verbiage on my title page saying that the images, story, etc. cannot be used?

    Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Yes, Elizabeth, you can and you should. The copyright registration has to do with potential lawsuits and damages. You work is your work and you own it regardless of whether you’ve registered it or not. Although you should register it within ninety days of your publication date, it’s never too late. So you can still do it now.

      Reply
  13. Regina Clarke

    I recently noticed my earlier books showed the copyright notice in a slightly different way from my later books. I checked Google and the Copyright Office and got a ton of somewhat contrary data to sort through–but then up came this article and as soon as I saw it was on TheBookDesigner my search was done. I knew I’d found the best answer. Thank you yet again, Joel, for this fabulous and trustworthy website!

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Regina,

      I couldn’t be happier that we were able to help. Good luck with your books, and thanks for leaving this comment today.

      Reply
  14. Gernel

    Thanks for your helpful tips… Good job

    Reply
  15. sandeep chakraborty

    If i am pubishing my book on amazan kdp, what should i write in my copyright page

    Reply
  16. shelly M. Loke

    What are the purpose of these numbers and codes in your example?

    HF0000.A0 A00 2010
    299.000 00–dc22 2010999999

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

    Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Shelly, those numbers are part of the CIP (cataloging in publication) data right above those numbers needed and used by libraries.

      Reply
      • Arvind Agrawal

        Hi
        So informative your website is!
        Regarding those CIP No (HF0000.A0 A00 2010
        299.000 00–dc22 2010999999
        14 13 12 11 10 / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1)

        @ q’s
        1. I still did not understand how to get it (from where to get it) as an author.
        2. Those LC Parmalinks: are they available to publishers in US only? Can I get it if I am publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing?

        Reply
  17. Ekjot

    thanks sooooo much you rock!!

    Reply
  18. Bridget

    Thanks for this! It was really helpful.

    Reply
  19. Chris DiMattei

    Thank for this, it is very helpful. Quick question. Can copyright be held by a deceased author? I am finishing a book started by another author, who has since, passed away. Should I be the copyright holder, or can it still be held by both myself and the initial author, who passed away? Thanks.

    Reply
      • George Garrigues

        The rights of the deceased author pass on to his estate, so his or her heirs or assigns might have a claim against any income from the sale of the book. Better consult a lawyer.

        Reply
    • KKM

      It’s the original author’s property, still, and will be for fifty years since his or her passing. It is not in the public domain yet, so it’s still under the protection of copyright laws. Definitely don’t write or meddle with someone else’s work, unless you have expressed permission to do so (e.g. fanfiction).

      Reply
  20. Gina Davis

    Hi, My partner and I are working on a Workshop book. The book will only be delivered digitally. It’s possible in the future we might opt to print the Workshop book.

    What would you suggest in both instances?

    Reply
  21. Avinash

    Sir i want to open an educational website about programming languages and networking. How can i make be sure i am not violating copywrite law or any such laws . There are hundreds of book are already published on same topic and chances are there that content might match. Plzz help me out.

    Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Avinash, there are many articles on copyright on our site. I think this one is a good one to start with to answer your question: https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2015/03/stop-thief-writers-and-plagiarism/. It talks about what you can use from other people’s writings. You might also consider hiring an intellectual property attorney to discuss this matter with. He or she can review your site and its contents as well as answer your questions and advise you.

      Reply
    • George Garrigues

      If you haven’t copied anything from another book or work, you should be OK. If you’ve directly copied wording (not just ideas), keep it to just a few lines and be sure to credit the guy or gal whose work you’ve cited.

      Reply
  22. Magrit

    I had a book published in another country, got the copyright and ISBN of it. Now I translated it to English and want to publish the English version. In the copyright page, I would like to mention that this book was translated from the original. How i do it? Do I mention the copyright info from the first book done overseas with its ISBN and then add the copyright and ISBN for the English version? Any model for this?

    Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Magrit, yes, there is a model for what information to include on the copyright page. The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is the style manual for the publishing industry. See CMS 1.29 (and figure 1.3 for a sample) of what you’re asking about. You can either purchase the book or you can check out the CMS site https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html.

      Reply
  23. Aimee Clark

    Thanks for this! Is it important to include an address? I don’t want people reading my recipe e-book to see my home address, which is where I work from. Can I just include email and website information and it still be legal? Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Aimee, I like to include an address but never a home address. You can get a Mail Boxes, etc., UPS Store, etc., address for your publishing company. But if you don’t, then an e-mail and website is fine.

      Reply
  24. Hitesh Unavane

    Thank you , I was looking for copyright information on kindle self publishing, But i have a question if the content gets stolen by any film maker or any content creator for copyrighted content on kindle. Does the Amazon or kindle helps the author in any form ? . And how does kindle handles plagiarism on their platform ?

    Reply
    • Sharon Goldinger

      Hitesh, attorney Helen Sedwick has written several excellent articles for TheBookDesigner on the subject of copyright (including infringement). Start with this article https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2015/02/a-step-by-step-guide-to-dealing-with-content-theft/ and then read others if you need additional information. I don’t think this situation happens very much at Amazon but if you know someone has stolen your book, contact Amazon right away.

      Reply
  25. Bill

    I hope to publish my grandmother’s personal diary whe wrote 1902-1906. She died in 1906. The diary has been passed from my grandfather to my father (the only child) and now to me. I have 2 surviving siblings and two deceased siblings. No copyright was passed by will. What are some basic copyright rules for me to publish the diary with personally generated additional material such as appended stories, photos, indexes and narrative.

    Reply
  26. DKWP

    Thanks for this nice information Joel.

    Reply
  27. Umer Prince

    You have made this easy to determine how we can have a appealing copyright paragraph for our next book.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  28. medo

    I have a book written in a first page all right reserved alone can I translate this book without permission from author

    Reply
    • Umer Prince

      No!

      You have to ask that book creator or owner or maybe the author. You can also contact to publisher of that book.

      If you want to copy 1, 2 or three lines you can give them credits and copy.

      But if you want to translate the whole book, you have to contact the human behind the creation of that book.

      Hope for best :)

      Reply
  29. Om Kataria

    Can any one please guide: Whether contents of a book not having ISBN or copy right can be reproduced by some one else. – Om email : omsavy@gmail.com

    Reply
  30. Ray

    These are nice! I’ll probably use the short version for my self-published eBook. Thank you for writing these!

    Reply
  31. shaquita brown

    I haven’t gotten my copyright yet, but is there anything in particular that I could put in my book in the mean-time?

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Shaquita, you can always print the copyright symbol, year, and your name even if you haven’t sent the book in for registration yet. But you should register it within 90 days of publication.

      Reply
  32. Kylie Abecca

    This is brilliant. Has taken a hell of a lot of stress out of my self-publishing. Thank you so much :)

    Reply
  33. Jordan

    So, just to be clear, could I copy one of these examples and use it when I share/publish my ebook?

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Jordan, that’s exactly why I published them, go ahead and use these samples in your book with my permission.

      Reply
      • Anmol Singh

        Hi Joel. Thanks for sharing this.

        I had a question regarding the use of the phrase “no part of this book can be reproduced… without the prior written permission of the publisher”.

        Does this phrase transfer the copyright to the publisher? In particular, will someone be able to copy the book without the author’s permission as long as he/she has the permission of the publisher?

        Reply
        • Sharon

          Anmol, copyright is a completely separate issue. The copyright paperwork is filed in presumably the author’s name and that won’t change. If someone wants to reproduce a portion of the book (that could be one paragraph or more), the person may have to get permission from the publisher.

          Reply
  34. Hana Young

    may i know the way to write one for my stories published online (it’s not e-book or blog)? thank you ^^

    Reply
  35. Greg

    I have completed an eBook (on insurance) that I want to distribute for free. My concern is that other agents might use the information for their own purposes. So, should I use a copyright statement and then state something like, “if this ebook is shared, it must be shared in it’s entirety, including the author’s name and contact information”?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Celeste

      Add part or all of this to your copyright: ” No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except in the case of a reviewer, who may quote brief passages embodied in critical articles or in a review.”

      Also, be sure to proofread your book and be on the lookout for errors such as using “it’s” instead of “its.”

      Reply
  36. olamide

    please, how can i add a two lines of copyright to a novel, and ends the copyright with Francisco Olisakwe

    Reply
  37. guadalupe Paredes

    How can I give credit to a business that let me use their pictures for my “fake” business that I’m doing for an FBLA competition.

    How can I give them credit for their work and for letting me use their pictures.

    Reply
  38. Julia McCoy

    REALLY helpful! I used your template today for my book coming out on Amazon soon, So You Think You Can Write? (This was the only part I didn’t think I could write ;D) Thanks so much for posting this!

    Reply
  39. Sharon Spano

    Joel, I reformatting an earller edition of a book I “self-published” through a small on-demand publisher. We’re changing the title, and it will be an eBook with a possible paperback and audio linked to it under a different title. I’m also adding an Epilogue.

    Can you please advise me on the language needed for this new edition on the copyright page? I’m not using the old publisher as I’m putting it on line myself.

    Thanks so much. Sharon

    Reply
  40. Ken Owens

    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!

    Reply
    • Khoroshiy Pomoshchnik

      ‘All photographs are copyrighted by the organisation’ would work just fine, unless the organisation by whom the photographs were taken says otherwise. Copyright pages/copyright do not need to be too complicated. As long as you state it properly, then it is stated. The more eloquent you have it, does not make a difference on whether someone will steal it or not. As long as you have a copyright statement, then if someone DOES steal something, you can defend it, because you have placed a copyright statement. That is all it is.

      Reply
  41. Fred Schenkelberg

    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?

    Reply
  42. lin

    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.

    Reply
    • E

      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.

      Reply
  43. Raya Gray

    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
    Raya

    Reply
  44. MAYOWA IBRAHIM

    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.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

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

      Reply
  45. EJA

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

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      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.

      Reply
  46. Caroline

    Hi,
    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 !!
    Caroline

    Reply
  47. Melanie

    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!

    Reply
    • wendy brown

      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?

      Reply
      • Joel Friedlander

        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.

        Reply
  48. Gabriel

    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.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

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

      Reply

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