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.

How about a “done-for-you” book template WITH copyright page?

You can grab it below! Cheers!

nonfiction book outline template v2
tbd advanced publishing starter kit

207 Comments

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. DKWP

    Thanks for this nice information Joel.

    Reply
  4. Umer Prince

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

    Thanks.

    Reply
  5. 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
  6. 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 : [email protected]

    Reply
  7. Ray

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

    Reply
  8. 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
  9. Kylie Abecca

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

    Reply
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. olamide

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

    Reply
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. Rigoberto Pimeda

    Thank you so much Joel for your free advice about the copyright notice.
    I am new self publishing author, and I’m about to release my first work, which is called “The Simple (Yet Wonderful) Story of my Life”.
    It is a simple work about my childhood, and how you can always find happiness even though life has been rough with you.
    Hope I’ll have it ready by middle of December 2014.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  27. Shuju

    Hi Joel!

    First of all, thanks so much for all the information in this page. This is awesome and so very helpful. I think I’ve got several tabs open with different articles from you.

    This Thanksgiving/Christmas, I thought I’d do a project making a free ebook of a short story I wrote some five years ago for a grieving friend. She said it helped her so much that she passed it around to different people who were in the same circumstances as her, often changing the name and description of the lead.

    I’m not sure about copyright, but Smashwords and Kindle require a copyright page. I’d like people to be able to use the story like that too– is “some rights reserved” allowable in a copyright page?

    Reply
  28. Shaunte

    Thank you so much for these examples!!! They are a tremendous help for me as I am in the beginning stages of self-publishing my memoir.

    Reply
  29. Nando Lim

    Thanks a lot for the guide, implemented this on my site.

    Reply
  30. Bonnie

    I’ve written a novel, loosely based on my life but all characters have fictional names. I am describing, however, a real website I created (but never successfully launched). So that website name is real (although currently defunct). Others I created are fictitious. Still other website names used in the book are real businesses. Do I need to get their permission to use their website name in the book? I use them either in passing or as an example of someone doing something really positive.

    Reply
  31. Missy

    Hi Joel,
    We print a product catalog every year and use the standard – “All images and designs c (copyright symbol) 2003-2014 Artistry in Mosaics, Inc. Every year we update the current year. We have also changed our 2002 to 2003 due to the fact that all of our 2002 designs have been redesigned so we no longer have 2002 designs.

    My question is – is it important to have a beginning and current year at all. Could we do some like 2003-Present?

    Thanks for you help.

    Reply
  32. Kim

    what if you had contact the author instead of publisher if you self publish? and or would you suggest putting both?

    Reply
  33. Nancy

    Joel, thanks a million for all the great info!

    I know you can’t provide legal advice re copyright, but let me ask what you might suggest in this situation:

    I’m publishing a novel written by a (deceased) author who had five successful books in the 1950s but nothing published since. I have permission from her (three) heirs, but I requested a NON-EXCLUSIVE right to publish the book (in case a big publisher suddenly popped up wanting to publish a new book by this author who sold over half a million of her books in the 1950s).

    I’m using a version of your sample “all rights reserved” statement, but I’m wondering if I should replace “written permission of the publisher” with “written permission of the publisher or copyright holders”? Because if someone else wanted to publish the book, too (say, a hardcover edition, which I’m not planning), they could apply directly to the copyright holders instead of to me. Does this make sense to you?

    Thanks very much,
    Nancy

    Reply
  34. Sandy

    Dear Joel,
    I’m in the process of finalizing my proof with CreateSpace. I’ve decided I want to add my LLC to the copyright page. What would be the correct verbiage to use? Also, when recording the copyright in DC, may I record the LLC as the copyright holder?
    Many thanks,
    Sandy

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Sandy, there’s no particular differing in listing a company that’s an LLC or a sole proprietorship, or any other kind of business organization. Just list the name and contact details for whatever entity is in the role of publisher. And yes, you can copyright the book in your company’s name. Please note that I don’t give legal advice, so if you want an authoritative answer, I recommend putting your questions to an intellectual property lawyer.

      Reply
  35. Cindy

    Joel, The museum I volunteer for is publishing a book that is in the public domain. How should the copyright page be created?

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      If you haven’t added any new material, like an introduction or preface, you don’t need a copyright page. Treat this page just like a copyright page but without the copyright notice or rights language. It will still fulfill the functions (publisher contact, etc.) that the copyright page usually fulfills. You can include a notice that the work is in the public domain (and what previous work it’s based on, if any) but that’s up to you.

      Reply
      • Cindy

        Thank you for this information Joel.

        Reply
  36. Ian Oliver, Future Author

    Hi. Just wanna say that this site helped me start my own book. Thanks!

    Reply
  37. shiri

    Dear Joel,
    I asked in many forums if a copyright notice is copyrighted itself.
    I’ve been told that technically it might be, but practically – the odds that someone would require copyrights on it – are small.
    Can I use one of the copyrights notices mentions above in this article?

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  38. Adam

    Excellent article thank you, but the one thing I was looking for wasn’t mentioned. I am writing a gamebook and would like to “hide” things on the copyright page. What is permissible that wouldn’t void the copyright. Off the top of my head; following my real web address with an “obviously” fake one same with phone #, names etc. Maybe I would need to put them all at the bottom under a separator line?

    Reply
  39. Scott Hunter

    Mr Friedlander,

    I forgot to say that I had just downloaded your self publishing guide.

    I take it there is no such thing as an online house that is non-vanity publishing?
    Who takes a cut only if the book sells?

    Kind regards,

    Scott

    Reply

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