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The Biggest Copyright Mistake Authors Make

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What's that mistake? Getting intimidated.

I'm just about to launch my first novel, and while my editor was hard at work putting the finishing touches on my manuscript, I had a list of tasks as well.Looming at the top of my list was Get a Copyright.

Now until recently, here is where I fell into the trap that is hard for authors to avoid: Intimidation. I am not an attorney, and reading legal content intimidates me, so when faced with the pages of legalese that I found online, I cringed and delayed getting my copyright. I was heartened by the Bitlaw articles claiming that my work didn't need to display a copyright protection notice to be protected, but quickly got lost in the morass of information that followed. I clicked on the US Copyright Office's handbook, only to discover that it was almost 400 pages of the densest legal text I'd ever seen.

I threw up my hands, went to LegalZoom.com and was ready to pay upwards of $114 for them to supply me with the necessary docume…