I have finally finished writing my second novel, Love without a Limit. I haven’t really gone thru it and done any rewriting but I have been shopping around for an editor. I was chatting back and forth with one and told her that I wanted to obtain the copyright for my work before I sent it to her. She then informed me that I didn’t need to obtain an actual copyright because my work was copyrighted as soon as I created it and to just apply the copyright symbol on any work I send. I appreciated her advice but was puzzled.
When I finished my first book, Dimes, Profiles and Wives, I was so happy. The first thing I did after finishing the writing was to pour myself a glass of wine and celebrate. The next thing I did was obtain the copyright for the finished work. I actually went to the post office, with the form filled out from the copyright office and a hard copy of the book, and sent the copy to the Library of Congress with postal insurance. She was my baby and I wanted to make sure she was legally protected.
After having the chat with the editor I began to wonder if I should follow her advice. Today the process is much easier to obtain an actual copyright because you can send the work digitally. You can copyright anything that you created from books to movies. However, I wondered if I was just an “old head” that needed to be caught up with the times.
My advice is to do both. I firmly believe that having the actual certificate authenticating your authorship and protection of your product is essential. Especially if there is ever any quarrel over who owned and created the product; it saves you excruciating headaches in the long run. Yet if you don’t have the funds to pay the fee make sure you apply the copyright symbol on anything that you release to another party if you want to prove and protect your created product.