The copyright page is probably one of the most overlooked pages in a book. Believe it or not, there’s no hard and fast rule to how copyright pages are constructed, but they all have particular elements that you should probably include in your book.
The following things can appear on the copyright page:
- Title of the book
- Author name
- Publisher’s address
- Date of publication
- The edition
- If it’s been previously published, previous editions
- If it’s fiction, a disclaimer often appears here that says something like: “All characters are fiction, and similarities to real people are coincidental”
- Quote and image permissions
- Acknowledgements of governmental funding
Most copyright pages will look something like this:
Sometimes it’s good practice to have a short disclaimer, especially in non-fiction, that says: “If you are a copyright holder and you feel your work has been represented unfairly, please contact the publisher.” This may help to cover you if you could not find the source for a particular document that you have quoted in your manuscript. Similarly, if you are giving advice in your non-fiction book, you can include a disclaimer so that people do not pursue you for any advice you give which may have worked out poorly for them. It can’t hurt to be careful ahead of time and give yourself protection from legal recourse.
If you want to be environmentally friendly, and are publishing an ebook, you could add a disclaimer that tells the reader that he or she is allowed to print the book, but should consider not doing so to save paper.
A quick note on editions, though this probably will not be something going on your self-published copyright page:
You may have noticed a series of numbers that count backwards on the copyright page: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4. These numbers indicate the print run of the book, and is called the printer’s key. The lowest number visible is the current print run (collector’s edition) of the book.The higher the number, the more print runs the book has had. Of course, this only applies to books with print runs, not with print-on-demand books.
Go and take a look at some copyright pages and pay attention to their layout! Text placement and spacing is still something to consider, as always. If there is anything you think should be added to your copyright page or if you would like us to give your page a quick look-over, give us a shout!