For those of you who are getting digitally published and are dreaming about becoming sparkling new e-book authors on Amazon, you people rock.
For those of you who have just discovered your love for writing or are slowly gaining confidence to post your work in public, you rock too!
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and similar online publishing platforms have made publishing a cinch. A few clicks and you get published for free. But let’s be honest. Have we tried to understand what rights we have over the book we claim to have published? My hand is up. I am guilty. Maybe some of you are too. We don’t have to get ‘lawyered’ up but let’s learn some basic facts together. What better day than today – The World Book and Copyright Day.
Sara: What is a copyright?
Archana: Copyright is the exclusive right you have over your book as its writer.
Sara: When do I get the copyright over my book?
Archana: The moment you finish writing it, you are the automatic owner of the rights to your book.
Sara: Do I have to mention that I have the copyright when I write my book?
Archana: Yes, you can make a copyright page in your manuscript after the title page with the following information: Copyright © Your name, ISBN/ASIN –Date, year and country of publishing.Add a line on All rights reserved.
Sara: What is ISBN/ASIN?
Archana: ISBN means International Standard Book Number (ISBN), it is a unique number assigned to your book so that it can be identified easily. If you are self-publishing, you can apply for an ISBN at isbn.gov.in for free. If you plan to publish your e-book exclusively on KDP, like many other people , you don’t need an ISBN. Once your content is published on KDP’s website, you will get a 10 digit ASIN ( Amazon Standard Identification Number) which is unique to your book on Amazon.
Sara: Is ISBN or ASIN number same as a copyright?
Archana: No. ISBN and ASIN are for catalogue purposes only and have nothing to do with copyright.
Sara: When I publish a book on KDP, does the copyright transfer to them?
Archana: No. When you publish an e-book on KDP, they only act as a marketplace. You will retain the copyright.
Sara: When I tried to publish my book on KDP, it asked me if I want to enable DRM. What is that?
Archana: DRM means Digital Rights Management. The advantage you get from DRM is that it is a layer of protection for your book. When you enable DRM, only the person who has bought the e-book can read it on their Kindle or Kindle App and cannot share the book unauthorized with others. The disadvantage is that readers who may want to read the book on multiple devices will not be able to do so and may choose not to buy your book as it is an inconvenience. It is upto you to choose what works best for you (the author community is divided on this issue) but please remember that whatever you choose, that decision is final. You cannot change your mind later.
Sara: Is there anything I can do to create documentation that establishes me as the author?
Archana: Experts advice that when you write your book, send an e-mail to yourself during its various drafts so you can show a timeline of how you have created it.
Sara: Do I need to register my copyright?
Archana: It is not compulsory to register your copyright. However, if someone tries to steal your phrases, quotes or passages from your book, having a registered copyright will help you show proof of ownership to the
court. To register or for more information, please check http://copyright.gov.in
Sara: What can I do to ensure my e-book isn’t pirated?
Archana: Keep it secure, on KDP! When your uncle’s friend’s brother’s niece asks you for a free PDF or Word doc copy of your book, smile and share the link to your e-book on Amazon. It’s ok if she doesn’t become your best friend, you have plenty of friends. (You certainly have me) Your book is safe!
Sara: A shout out to all the lovely parents and teachers mentoring their kids into becoming published authors of e-books .Here’s to lots more writing, books and learning. Happy writing. Stay safe!#Justwrite
About Archana Mohan: Archana is the co-founder of Bookosmia, a fast-growing children’s content company and creators of ‘Sara’ – India’s first female sports loving character. She is the author of ‘Yaksha’, an acclaimed children’s book on the dying art of Yakshagana. She is an ex-journalist who
worked as the Principal Correspondent of a leading business newspaper.
Disclaimer : The above write-up is based on personal experience and secondary information and is not legal advice. For any copyright related queries please contact a copyright lawyer.