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I have written and illustrated a rhyming picturebook (for approx 0-7 year olds) and have it in PDF format which I prepared in InDesign. When I am sending the manuscript off, do I need to worry about adding copyright to the the content first, or should I just send the PDF as is? Should I put a watermark on it, or is this really not necessary?

Obviously I am very new to this game - I was an art teacher, so completely different ballgame entirely, but I ended up teaching primary children, so at least I have a fairly good idea about the target audience!

This question is further to this question asked previously.

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    Hi Martin, I'm glad to see you still here and posting. Your last question was very broad. I can't speak for others but I didn't vote to close it because it appeared useful as a general question for others. But this question really is too broad. I edited it severely to remove everything except the question about adding copyright. You can ask other questions separately. – Cyn says make Monica whole Mar 29 '19 at 15:26
  • @Cyn I posted the part you removed as a separate question - hope this is ok? – martin Mar 29 '19 at 15:33
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    The other question is certainly okay. It's clear and on topic. It's possible it's been asked before though, so don't take it personally if it gets closed as a duplicate. I don't know for sure yet. – Cyn says make Monica whole Mar 29 '19 at 15:55
  • did you mean to write 0-7? That's a huge span, developmentally. babies, toddlers, kindergarteners, and first/second graders? – April Salutes Monica C. Mar 29 '19 at 19:58
  • @April 0-7 is in fact the age range for children's literature. Obviously most books are meant for sub-sections of that range, but many are not. Remember, most children have books read out loud to them, so finer reading age doesn't matter. Most children learn how to read in school at age 5 or 6 but still continue to have books read out loud to them. A picturebook (the "rhyming" indicates there are some words) can be for a wide age range. – Cyn says make Monica whole Mar 29 '19 at 21:00
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When you create a work of art, you automatically own the copyright to it in all countries that have ratified the Berne Convention1. Therefore, when you submit a text that you have written to a publisher in one of those countries, it is unneccessary to tell the publisher what they already assume.

Respectable publishers will also never steal your work. If they did, no other author would every work with them again, and they would be out of business.


1 Since 1998 you no longer have to register copyright in the USA, but registration is advantageous in case you have to take a copyright infringement to court.

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I don't know what country you are in. In the UK, copyright is assumed. However, appending a half-line copyright notice (symbol, name, date) to a work is not going to significantly add to its length and so should usually be a part of it.

I can't speak as a publisher, but as someone who receives texts to review, watermarks really irritate me. I want to read the text and don't want some person to make it harder for me to do so.

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