Success is Patience… When Getting a Copyright

After about nine months from initial submission, I finally received my official copyright registration for Success is Me from the United States Copyright Office. While it is commonly known by those who deal with IP that your work is copyrighted the minute you finish it, this extra step was important for me in officially submitting this work to the government agency. While it provides some extra layer of protection that you are indeed the owner of this work, the real reason was more to have a sense of finality about this book. Over the next months/years I hope more and more children get a chance to come across this book. It may even result in a second book one day. For now I am happy in knowing that this book is out there to help kids around the world and the official copyright registration was part of that process for me.

As a word of advice to other authors, filing the copyright registration was not as easy as I thought it would be. The first set of books I sent got “lost in the system.” It wasn’t until I received a notice from the government that they received my application but no books, that I knew something was wrong. Luckily they give you so many weeks to submit any missing documentation/book copies before they close your file. On second submittal of the book copies I was able to confirm they were received, but there was no notice on when the application would be actually reviewed. The person I spoke with made it sound like a few weeks, but six months later I frankly gave up on the idea I’d ever hear from them again. A few weeks ago I received an email from the copyright office saying they were reviewing my application, but found a discrepancy on how I completed the document in regards to the illustrations in the book. The person was very responsive and we were able to resolve the issue via email with the office updating my app on their side.

The copyright was not going to prevent me from marketing or selling the book, but in the end I am glad I went through the process. If I had to do it again, I’d probably work through a service to ensure I filled out the application correctly the first time – it’s hard to know how much of the delay was due to my error or just the long process in the copyright office.