Once you have your manuscript finished, you can apply to copyright your work. Actually you could do it sooner, but you must be sure that the title you’ve chosen for your book is the one you will end up using. Why should you do this? Well, some publishers will tell you that getting your work copyrighted isn’t necessary, that all you have to do is mail yourself a copy and that’s enough proof. Publishers also tell you that legally, you don’t need it.
However, I prefer to make things truly legal. I want that certificate that says my book is ‘my book!’
Getting copyright is quick and simple, thanks to the Internet. If you are in the United States, just go to: http://www.copyright.gov and download the form. You will then fill it out and send it in to the address indicated along with a payment of $30. In Canada, go to CIPO (the Canadian Intellectual Property Office). Click on the link for copyright and follow the same process. Click on ‘By Subject’ and scroll down to ‘Intellectual Property.’
It’s far too simple not to just do it!