Should I get my manuscript copyright before publication?
Can I make changes to the copyright manuscript?
One Caveat: I'm not a lawyer so this is just my own experience.
But technically, your manuscript is already copyrighted. The current law comes into effect the moment of creation, you are not required to "submit" for a copyright. It still might be a good idea to register it at the Library of Congress though. It's not terribly expensive and it makes it a lot easier to "prove" that you developed the ideas/characters/etc, on your own.
If you then make drastic changes to the manuscript, you would have to resubmit to the archive.
Personally, it's easy to get caught up in the paranoia of protecting our ideas, but publication itself is a form of asserting your intellectual properties copyright.
I need to say one thing, when you write a manuscript you really don't need to copywrite it, as technically it already is, all you need to do is prove it. Thus keep all of your notes, everything.
If you still feel the need, registring it at the Library of Congress is a good beginning. It also depends on where you're going to publish it.
Thank you Misterspook and Rebecca E. for your answers. I have written a manuscript for a children book and have sent it to a couple of self publishing bookstores. And was cautious about it staying authentic.
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