I am not an attorney, but under U.S. Copyright law, your self-published work is protected the moment you write it, or type it onto a page (or a hard drive). If you feel more comfortable or secure you can register your work before you send it out. However, people in the publishing industry know this is the law, so as long as you’re dealing with reputable industry professionals, you don’t have to worry that they’ll steal your work and try to pass it off as their own.
Even though you are protected from the moment you start writing you can register your work with the U.S. Copyright office if you want added security. Should you decide to copyright a manuscript with the US government the costs $35. This can be done online at www.copyright.gov.
If you need assistance Williams DocuPrep can handle the copyright acquisition on behalf of our authors, and the copyright is the author’s property, meaning that the author retains all rights to the content of their book. As the copyright owner, you also own the foreign rights to your book. If you choose for WDP to acquire your Copyright, the fee is $25 plus the cost of the copyright.