What to Include in Your Book’s Copyright Page

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(Note: The information provided in this post does not constitute legal advice.) 

Anyone who has ever read a book has seen a copyright page and has probably breezed right past it. Some authors may therefore get the idea that a copyright page isn’t worth including in their book, but we beg to differ! 

If you’re publishing traditionally, your publisher will certainly require a copyright page, but if you’re self-publishing, the responsibility falls squarely on you. While it’s not mandatory to include this page, we recommend adding it to protect yourself.

This post examines the importance of a copyright page and what it normally contains. While there is no one way to do a copyright page, we’ve listed elements that are generally included. You can decide what makes the most sense for you and your book.

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Why is the copyright page important?

Having a copyright page isn’t strictly required since you automatically own the copyright to your book. However, having such a page serves as a notice to others that you are informed about copyright and watching out for people trying to steal your work. If you don’t include a copyright page, unscrupulous individuals may see you as an easy target for intellectual property theft.

You can also register your copyright. In the United States, you own the copyright regardless of whether you register it or not, but doing so puts the copyright on record and will make proving your ownership of your book easier if someone were to plagiarize your work. It may be tempting to simply avoid the bureaucracy, but this step offers extra protection should you find yourself the victim of intellectual property theft.

Moreover, while the average reader may skip the copyright page, others won’t. Booksellers, distributors, librarians, and other parties in the book industry look to the copyright page for important information.

You may think a copyright page is a lot of hassle, but it’s actually very simple to put one together. The information is straightforward, and you can use other books as examples when deciding how you want your copyright page to read. As an author, you surely have a lot of other work to do, but it’s worth it to take a little extra time and compile a copyright page.

What do you include in a copyright page?

Very little information is required, and you can find below what common elements feature in a copyright page. There is no official order to any of these items, so you can choose both what you include and how they appear.

1. Copyright notice

Technically, this is the only section you need to include in a copyright page. 

This lists the copyright holder (you, the author) and the year of publication. Use the word “copyright” in addition to the © symbol as not all countries recognize the copyright symbol. You can also include the title of the book. 

It will look something like this:

Book Title. Copyright © 2022 by Author Name.

Alongside this, you will need a statement of rights. A simple “All rights reserved” will suffice. However, you can include more. For example: “All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form whatsoever without permission.” Since you’re dealing with legal text here, don’t deviate from the standard wording—this isn’t the time to get creative.

2. Publisher information

Write the name and address of the publisher. Depending on how book sales will work with your publisher, you may need to include ordering information. If you’re self-published, you can’t include a publisher; in this case, you can list Kindle Direct Publishing or a publishing imprint.

3. Edition information

Write the edition number and place of printing. Obviously, if your work is only available as an eBook, leave this section out.

For example:

First paperback edition, Name of Publisher.

Printed in the United States of America.

4. Disclaimer

For works of fiction, a disclaimer affirms that the story is fictional. This offers the author some protection if anyone claims libel or makes other allegations. Adding a disclaimer like this is standard practice and generally advised.

A standard disclaimer reads like this:

This is a work of fiction. All characters and events in this book are a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to real events or people, living or dead, is coincidental.

5. Permissions 

If you use any copyrighted material (quotes, lines from a book, song lyrics, artwork, etc.), you need to list the owner and year of the copyright. Of course, you need to obtain permission before including the material in your book. Be careful not to use any copyrighted material without permission—if you are, you’ll either need to modify the element until it falls under fair use or get permission from the copyright holder.

When you obtain permission, confirm how it should be attributed, but it may look something like this:

Lyrics from “Name of Song” by Artist Name. © 1999 by Music Label, City, State. All rights reserved.


You obtain an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) in your country and only need this one number even if you market the book internationally. You will need another ISBN for separate editions (e.g., hardcover, paperback, eBook, or an updated or revised edition). To obtain an ISBN in the United States, visit www.isbn.org

The publisher owns the ISBN, whether that’s a publishing company or the author (in the case of self-published works). Whoever has the ISBN is responsible for book orders and distribution.

While your book doesn’t need an ISBN, many authors prefer to have one since it includes their work in the Books in Print database, making it easier for people to find it. Most importantly, libraries, wholesalers, and retailers rely on an ISBN to order books. Thus, having an ISBN offers an extra level of legitimacy and promotion and allows you the opportunity to get your book in libraries and bookstores.



The copyright page holds information crucial to booksellers and others in the publishing industry, so it’s good practice to have one in your book. While we’ve outlined the basics of a copyright page, always check with your printer or publisher as they may have additional information to include (like their logos). If you’re self-publishing, it’s still a good idea to include a copyright page to protect yourself from potential legal issues or intellectual property theft.

We hope this post instills in you some confidence as you put the finishing touches to your book. Don’t forget you can hire us to typeset your book for a professional look.

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