Stephanie Bourbon on Copyrighting Your Work

One of our fave writer-illustrator-screenwriting-vloggers, Stephanie Bourbon, answers a question on a subject that just may have crossed your mind. (In other words, of course you’ve thought about this!


Do I Need To Copyright My Novel/Work?
by Stephanie Bourbon

The other day in a massive FB group a new writer posted the question when do I need to copyright my book? And as FB is always a place for arguing it got heated so I decided that it was needed to write a quick blog about it to help you!

The answer is that you do NOT need to copyright your work. 

There are many reasons. 

1. No one is trying to steal your story. It’s great that you think it’s so perfect that lines of people are waiting for you to show it so they can steal it–this simply isn’t true.

2. There are only 5 stories anyhow—in other words, there are NO NEW STORIES—-so no matter what you write, someone else is either writing it now or has in the past. This is a fact.

3. You can not copyright a story idea, only the words so you will have to copyright every time you do a revision or make any changes. This will be expensive.

4. Your work is automatically copyrighted the moment you write it. 

5. It’s seen as amateur hour. If you submit to an agent and mention that this is copyrighted it is as if you are saying “you better not steal this” SIGH

6. The publisher you go with will take care of this for you. Even if you self-publish unless you own your own press….

Read it all at stephaniebourbon.com


Former Larry Brody student Stephanie Olivieri Bourbon has found great success as a writer, illustrator, and expert consultant. This article first appeared in her new blog at stephaniebourbon.com.