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Writing Books/COpyright of collected stories


Hello.. I have collected 15 TRUE stories written by others for my book......DO I COPYRIGHT IT ALL IN MY NAME?  DO I COPYRIGHT IT AS WORK FOR HIRE?  Thanks.

Dear Angela,

Thank you for writing.

Per copyright law, you must have written documentation of an agreement between you and each author (which can be very brief, and does not have to be filed at the U.S. Copyright Office, etc.), stating that your authors have transferred their "rights" to their work to you, so that you may then publish the book containing their work in your own name. You can not copyright a book as a "work for hire."

For more information, and for your future knowledge, this is actually just part and parcel of an excellent explanation of this very convoluted issue, which I found on the always-trusty, to whit: "Under the U.S. Copyright Act, a transfer of ownership in copyright must be memorialized in a writing signed by the transferor. For that purpose, ownership in copyright includes exclusive licenses of rights. Thus exclusive licenses, to be effective, must be granted in a written instrument signed by the grantor. No special form of transfer or grant is required. A simple document that identifies the work involved and the rights being granted is sufficient."

I certainly hope this helps -- and best of luck to you with your book! True stories are often much better than fiction, as they say, particularly if you can include photographs -- people do love reading about other people -- this is a universal interest, and it will never end --

All Best,
Catherine Van Herrin  

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Catherine Van Herrin


I am an American-born, native English speaker with a BA in English and more than 26 years of professional editing, writing, and proofreading experience. I have edited several books and book-length manuscripts. References and titles available upon request.

For further work or assistance with larger projects, see my profile here, with 190 excellent reviews: WordChannel Professional Reviews, Ratings

I can use British-English or American-English, and I am very familiar with Chicago and AP style.


More than 26 years' U.S. publishing industry experience, editorial (print). I provide crystal-clear, clean grammar; strict attention to style, consistency, flow, logic, accuracy, and spelling, and I work quickly and efficiently.

I do not format or provide technical assistance in publishing books. I use MS Word only.

If I can help you further, contact me at the website above (create a job request) or write to me at My rate is $0.008 per word. Send requests/inquiries to I accept currency only through PayPal, with 50% of the total at project initiation; the balance is due upon project completion.

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AA, Liberal Arts, Anderson College, Anderson, South Carolina. BA, English, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. Post-graduate concentration: Post-war Irish poetry and early 18th century English fiction, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas.

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I have worked with authors in the UK, Canada, the US, and several other countries. References and titles available on request.

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