First: I am not a lawyer.
Purchase a copy of the indispensable The Copyright Handbook.
It is very readable and very informative.
On my copyright information pages,
I include four kinds of information:
- Publication info
- Copyright notices
- Warning statement
- Fiction disclaimer
I list these items, which identify the publication and publisher:
- Book title
- Publisher name
- Publisher URL
I include copyright notices for the text, cover design, cover art, and (for paperbacks) interior design.
© 2014 by Dale Hartley Emery
Cover design © 2014 by Driscoll Brook Press
Cover art © Garuti | Dreamstime.com
Next comes a warning statement:
An explanatory statement about the copyrights:
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
According to The Copyright Handbook,
that first sentence--all rights reserved--is no longer necessary,
but it's still common.
For ebooks, I insert an additional warning statement above the standard one:
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.
If you would like to share this book with another person,
please purchase an additional copy for each recipient.
If you're reading this book and did not purchase it,
or it was not purchased for your use only,
then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy.
Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
I end the page with this fiction disclaimer:
This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents
are either the products of the author's imagination
or used in a fictitious manner.
Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events
is purely coincidental.
It is unclear whether such disclaimers have any useful legal effect.
Placement of the Copyright Information Page
I place the copyright information page on the back of the title page.
I include a few copyright details at the bottom of the title page:
- Copyright notice for the text.
- A link to the full copyright information page.
Then I put the full copyright information page at the end of the book.
The reason I do this is that many book retailers
automatically create samples.
The samples are typically a percentage of the book
(calculated by proprietary algorithms).
The automatically created samples
always start at the beginning of the book.
I don't want readers who sample my books to have to wade through
the copyright details.
And I don't want the copyright page to take up valuable space
in the sample.
Now, for many books,
the copyright page doesn't take much space.
But I often publish standalone stories as short as 3000 words.
The copyright page eats up too much of the sample space for those.
I'd rather have readers reading my thrilling prose.
Take a look at the copyright pages of a few traditionally published books.
They all include similar kinds of information,
though the specific statements and wording vary considerably.
Again, I don't know the specific legal effects of these variations.