This allows me to upload an electronic copy of my manuscript – which by then, I have formatted as a book – and costs me $35 (in 2013).
Once I self publish my book, I have to follow through with the copyright registration process by mailing two good copies of the book to the copyright office.
“Mandatory Deposit in Brief
• All works under copyright protection that are published in the United States are subject to the mandatory deposit provision of the copyright law.
• This law requires that two copies of the best edition of every copyrightable work published in the United States be sent to the Copyright Office within three months of publication.”
This requirement is beautifully described in Circular 7d, Mandatory Deposit of Copies or Phonorecords for the Library of Congress.
I copied the quoted text from www.copyright.gov and I’m not sure of the copyright of that copyright info… so I’m trying hard to be clear about where I got that… but I’m the one who made “within three months of publication” bold, because I think that’s quite an important point.
These two copies become the property of the US Government and will not be returned. You also have to pack them nicely so that they don’t get blown up by Homeland Security on their way to the Library of Congress.
There is no additional fee for this step, other than the postage.
Not only does this step complete your copyright registration process, and protect your work for a couple hundred years (or less), it also ensures that YOUR book is one of the dozens – well, bizillions – of books on the shelf in a way-cool library. Or stacked in a basement somewhere; who knows.
Library of Congress
Attn: 407 Deposits
101 Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20559