Questions on Legality


I plan on self-publishing a book in a few months, but I have one fear: legal trouble. This is actually one of the main things keeping from publishing already. I know I should file for copyright (about $35) but are there any other legal steps I’m missing? This might be a bit paranoid, but I just want some advice to ease my mind. Thanks in advance!


What do you mean with legal trouble? If your book is posted on WP, you have a timestamp. As an author <you also automatically own the copyright. To the best of my knowledge all you need is an isbn number for your book.


It depends which country you live in, as they all have different laws.


You don’t even need an ISBN. Self-publishing platforms like Amazon and Draft2Digital provide you one free of charge unless you want to use your own.


I second what Lina said – what legal trouble are you concerned about? If you didn’t plagiarize, used a copyrighted image for your cover, or violated some other copyright or trademark in your book by using song lyrics or disparaging a major brand, this should be a smooth sailing.

Personally, I do register my copyright in the US, even though there are other ways to prove when you wrote your work (and it’s protected from the time you drop the first word onto a page). Could you maybe give us some specifics of what you are concerned about?

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I recently removed my book from WP so I could self publish it. I just didn’t know if I needed any legal documentation or to fill out any forms to self publish


My biggest concern is somehow getting sued for something, although I don’t have any copyright infringements or defamation issues


You’re fine then. Go ahead and publish!

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Thanks for helping ease my worried mind!

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But you still have the WP timestamp i.e. you might remove it, but it’s there in draft. That is quite a handy thing to have…

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For self-publishing in these times, all you need to pay for is the copyright. ISBN is optional, for the most part :woman_shrugging:

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If you understand how copyright and defamation work, and you know you didn’t infringe anyone’s copyright or defame anyone, then you have nothing to worry about. Famous authors get sued for copyright infringement and defamation, but the people who sue them do so for the same reason other people buy lottery tickets - they think there’s a chance of a big payout. (And maybe there is a chance, but it’s about the same as their chance of winning the lottery jackpot.)