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Should I have my manuscript copyrighted before I send to agents/ editors?

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Hello!

I have been confused if whether or not I should self copyright my book before I send it off to agents/ editors. Can anyone please advise me on what is best for me to do?

Thank you so much for your time and your help!

~ Jessie Munoz
#1 - August 14, 2018, 10:03 AM

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No. You automatically have copyrights to your story the moment you create it. Filing for copyright is just a formal process and the publisher will take care of that during the publication process. In fact, if you copyright work before you submit it to agents or publishers, that will usually be a sign that you are new to the process, it's considered a "rookie" mistake.

Good luck in your querying process!
#2 - August 14, 2018, 11:57 AM

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I'll second dkshumaker's comments. You do not need to copyright your manuscript, and in fact should not.

What  you should do is be sure that you've got it set up in the expected manuscript format. I explain how to do that here: http://www.underdown.org/manuscript-format.htm

Good luck!
#3 - August 14, 2018, 12:27 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

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Thank you so much to dkshumaker and HaroldU for getting back to me! I truly appreciate it! Hope you both have a lovely evening!
#4 - August 14, 2018, 12:32 PM

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I highly recommend bookmarking Harold's website and reading everything on it. You will learn so much about the kidlit industry! :-)
#5 - August 14, 2018, 01:28 PM

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I highly recommend bookmarking Harold's website and reading everything on it. You will learn so much about the kidlit industry! :-)

This.

The best thing I did for myself was buy Harold Underdown's book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books (now in its third edition). Through reading it, I was led to his website and Verla's message board - now this SCBWI message board.

Best wishes, Jessica!!

#6 - August 14, 2018, 04:06 PM

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This.

The best thing I did for myself was buy Harold Underdown's book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books (now in its third edition). Through reading it, I was led to his website and Verla's message board - now this SCBWI message board.

Best wishes, Jessica!!

Y'll are making me blush...
#7 - August 14, 2018, 05:31 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

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Thank you all again! I was actually checking out Mr. Underdown's site before I read the newest comments. 😊
#8 - August 14, 2018, 08:29 PM

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