Q. Should I copyright my book with the US Copyright office?
Your work is protected by copyright the moment you click save (or when you send it to someone in ANY recorded form). If someone uses it without your permission, that's considered copyright infringement.
But you can't sue for damages until you have an official copyright certification from Copyright.gov. When you get one, it looks like this:
As of 10/2022 - the fee to file an electronic Copyright (from your PDF) costs $65 and takes approx. 3 months.
The majority of my clients don't bother with is because in all likelihood, nobody is going to steal it (or if they do, they aren't likely to make any $ from it).
But if you do want to do this (again, you will not have any ability to sue for damages unless you have one):
Create an account here:
I personally haven't seen this happen with any of my clients, but given the unpredictability of Amazon & KDP (where the rules constantly change), it's probably not a bad idea to have a copyright in the event someone else stakes a claim to YOUR work. Here's a tutorial:
The main reason why you actually might want to do this? Because somebody else may claim rights to your work... simply to get Amazon to take your book down (which is to their benefit if they have a competing title). If you have the official copyright for your work, you'll be able to provide Amazon/KDP with something tangible that they can show the individual who makes the false claim. Just be sure to monitor any communications from KDP... odds are that the only reason this happened to an author is because he/she failed to respond to an email from KDP, which are always time sensitive..
Live well and be kind,