Back of Title Page
It’s a strange name, but it’s where you will usually find the page of your book or novel that sets out the information that asserts you as the author and owner of copyright.
Also known as the Copyright Page, it isn’t a legal requirement to include, but highly recommended.
Copyright covers you as soon as a piece of writing is written, typed or otherwise transcribed by an author. The copyright is for your entire life plus 70 years. It is common practice to sign your work with a copyright symbol, © (On an android computer press keys Ctrl and Alt together and press letter C. On a Mac computer press Option then G) Follow this with the date and the authors name (or pen name)
Information on the back of the title page can also include:
- The publisher’s name, address, website and trademark if they apply
- Copyright – © (publication year) followed by the author’s name or pen name.
- A disclaimer–for a novel, this may include that all names, characters, places and events are fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. (I suggest that you have a look at the title pages of several books similar to your own for ideas about what you want to include) The disclaimer is to protect an author from lawsuits about libel and plagiarism. If in doubt get a legal opinion.
- All rights reserved. –This protects your book from being stolen. Also recommended to include: No part of the publication can be reproduced in any form (electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recorded) without the written permission of the publisher/author. Some copyright pages mention that unauthorised use may result in criminal prosecution and/or civil damages. A statement asserting the author’s moral rights can be included. (In these days of electronic and AI factors, it may be advisable to ensure extensive protection for your book.) This book is not in the public domain is another protective statement. The National Library of Australia have a list of Books that are no longer under copyright protection (remember the life of the author + 70 years) which can be reproduced unless the copyright is extended by a relative, publisher or someone managing the author’s estate.
- Include the ISBN number.
- Add the date of the first printing and the dates of subsequent editions.
- You may choose to add that the book, including e-books, record is in the National Library of Australia. The library provides a neat logo and the statement “A catalogue record for this work is available from the National Library of Australia.” Go to the National Library of Australia website, publisher services and get full instructions for this process. Getting your work in the catalogue will ensure its availability to all libraries in Australia. (In addition, all authors and publishers have a legal obligation to submit a copy of their book to the National Library and also the library in your state and territory)
- Acknowledge copyright for the cover design and any art works or borrowed material in your book. You may also wish to add information about formatting if using a copyrighted format.
- You can add your website, social media contacts and/or contact information.
- Some authors use the copyright page to acknowledge their team and referenced material, but if this is extensive, a separate Acknowledgements page will work better.
There is a wide variety of copyright page formats. Some authors use a minimal amount of information, while others include detailed information covering all potential problems. I suggest looking online for examples, check out similar books to your own and do the research. You can also access the Australian Society of Authors who provide information for authors. I would also suggest joining this organisation if you intend publishing and marketing books. They have a wide range of services, including legal advice for members.
The self-publishing phenomenon has meant that there are millions of books out in the market and unfortunately, there are scammers and other criminals who will take advantage. Taking your time and investigating what information you want to include on your copyright page is important and it may stop a lot of heartbreak and expense.
The information provided in this blog is of a general nature and will hopefully give you some basic information about copyright pages. If in doubt about any required, inclusions and copyright issues, or if you believe that your book has been pirated then seek out legal advice.
© Elsie King 2023
- Australian Society of Authors – website – find an answer/questions about copyright
- National Library of Australia – website- services for publishers- Legal deposit – Prepublication data service.
- Donna Munro – How to Self-Publish in Oz – Warm Witty Publishing 2021 – pages 23-24.
- Authority Pub – website – https://authority.pub/book-copyright-page – pages 10-11
Feature Photo creation: Bellerive Marina photo under copyright © L.M. Kling 2023