Copy protecting a manuscript the official way via the Copyright Office can take upwards of six months. Registering the Ridge Runner, the precursor to the novel, took five, for instance. Add in the cost, which is $45 USD, and usually I opt for the poor man route. It’s faster, cheaper, and less onerous to seal up a short story and mail the package to myself before showing it around. Given the amount of time invested in a novel and potential financial upside, a 45 dollar tag seems more reasonable.
Lo and behold my TX certificate for The Last Track arrived in the mail today–an end to end turnaround of 8 weeks. Pretty incredible considering it necessitated heavy governmental oversight in the midst of three major holidays.
So to the Register of Copyrights, Marybeth Peters, whatever you did to streamline the process, much thanks! I’d send cookies, but that would probably land me on the wrong kind of watch lists.