Let’s Get Tech-y: Adding the Copyright Page

As I noted in this previous post, the key must-haves in your manuscript include your title page, your copyright page, and your Table of Contents (standard in nonfiction; optional in fiction). That previous post covered creating your title page; now let’s talk about creating the copyright page.

Copyright page

After you’ve finished the title page, insert a page break (go to the Insert tab, and on the far left in the Pages menu is a button to click called Page Break). Now begin your copyright page. On the first line, type the word Copyright and then “parenthesis C parenthesis.” By default, the program may automatically give you the © symbol.

If it doesn’t, navigate to the Insert tab, and on the far right of that ribbon is the Symbol button. Click on the down arrow. That will open a series of possible symbols. (you can actually see that the copyright symbol for me is right there on the second row. I could just click and it would insert).

If you don’t see the copyright symbol there, click on More Symbols. That will bring up another couple menus. Click on Special Characters, and then the copyright symbol.

After you have entered that symbol, put the current year and your name, like this:

Copyright © 2021 by Linda K. Taylor

One quick note: Don’t put this information on the cover or title page. It is understood in the industry that the very fact that you created this piece protects it with copyright. You need not worry about someone stealing your work if you don’t put a copyright symbol on the cover page (in fact, if you DO put it there, you’re going to look like an amateur—like you don’t really understand the industry. Don’t do that).

Instead, I’m having you create this copyright page for your manuscript because the publishing house will add it anyway, but you can add the material for the sources you used.

For example, on this copyright page you include the copyright lines of material from which you have (or obtained) permission to quote or use artwork or illustrations (this could be any number of sources depending on what you’re writing). Often, for Christian writers, this may include Bible versions. And while you don’t need to request permission to quote verses from Bibles, you still need to include the copyright lines of all the Bible versions you quote throughout the text.

As you wrote your document, you kept track of your source(s) for Bible verses—that is, what Bible version you were quoting from (you did, didn’t you?). Perhaps you just typed the verses from your well-worn Bible. Or maybe you quoted from several different Bible versions because you liked the nuances of the way various versions translate your key verses.

For the copyright lines for your copyright page, look at the copyright page in the Bible from which you’re quoting. For example, in my New Living Translation, it says: “When the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, is quoted, one of the following credit lines must appear on the copyright page or title page of the work.” Then follow three options. The first is used if all of the verses you quoted were from the New Living Translation. In this case, the NLT says to write the following on your copyright page:

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

If the NLT is your default and the only version you used, you would type the above exact line onto your copyright page.

Perhaps the NLT was the main one you used, but you sprinkled in a couple other versions, such as the King James Version. In that case, you do need to make sure that KJV is noted at that reference. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1 KJV), and on your copyright page, you will choose this line from that NLT copyright page:

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from . . . (etc.)

and then you’ll also include a copyright line from the KJV Bible.

Scripture quotations marked KJV are taken from the King James Version . . . (etc., with the copyright line from your Bible)

If you used a variety of versions, make sure that after every reference throughout your entire manuscript that you note the Bible version—for example: (Genesis 1:1 NIV) and (Romans 5:8 NLT) and (Philippians 1:5 KJV). Then, on the copyright page, you need to include the copyright lines as noted on the copyright page of each Bible.

If you’re using a source such as Bible Gateway for your Bible verses, note that the copyright line for any version you choose is given to you, as here:

If you use other Bible software, look around for the copyright information on the Bible versions.

After you have put in the copyright material for Bible versions, also include some standard information such as this:

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This is for your manuscript submission. When your book is published, the publisher will take care of adding their boilerplate copyright page information, their Library of Congress information, the printing numbers, etc. You just need to provide these basics.

If you’re self-publishing, you need to include this page as part of your book. Here are a couple of article links to help you create a copyright page when self publishing. Here’s a how-to guide and another guide with helpful info.

Great work! Next we’ll talk about creating your TOC (Table of Contents).

(This article, without visuals, originally appeared in The Christian Communicator magazine, May-June 2018.)

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