Whether your book was published ten years ago or ten minutes ago, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to officially registering your book with Google to be eligible for potential pay-outs in accordance with the Google Book Settlement.
Rather than confusing this already-complex subject with summaries of what the Google Book Settlement is, or whether books are eligible or not (there is plenty of information and opinions on those topics online already), this is going to be short and sweet. We are going to assume you want to participate by opting-in (there’s no downside) and we’re going to tell you how to do that as simply as possible.
Here is what you need to do personally if you want your book(s) to be registered with the Google Book Settlement…
How to Register Your Book
# 1: Go to http://www.googlebooksettlement.com and read the information on the home page. There is a detailed and comprehensive FAQ if you are curious for more information. These steps below are of a general nature, so always be sure the steps you complete are in accordance with your specific circumstance.
You will notice two deadlines on this page . If you wish to be eligible for cash pay-outs, you must opt-in by completing this online process by January 5, 2010. These are the steps to do that.
If you choose to opt-out, you must complete the opt-out process online by September 4. There’s really no reason to opt-out unless you’re planning on suing Google separately from this class action suit.
Hint, if you do nothing at all, you will most likely be treated as if you opted in, but that is a judgment call that will be made much later, legally, by the Department of Justice. To be on the safe side, actively opt-in now.
After reading the home page on the Google Book Settlement site, click the “Claim Books and Inserts” button.
# 2: Your browser may ask if you want to see secure and unsecured items because you are now accessing an SSL (https) secure server. Indicate that you want to see both.
Here you are going to create your registry account. In 95% of the cases, you are going to select the first choice, “Author or author heir” so if you are unsure as to what to choose, choose the first one.
If you are positive that you specifically registered your own ISBN with Bowker manually yourself under your specific publishing imprint name, choose the second choice, “Publisher.”
# 3: At this point, a rather daunting form will appear. Fill it out in its entirety, using your personal information. Do NOT use your publisher’s information.
At the bottom of this form is a “Create Account” button. Once you have completed the form, press the button.
# 4: At this point, the website will require you to sign-in using the username and password you just created. In 98% of the cases, you will NOT have multiple sign-ins.
After you sign-in for the first time, the site will require you to confirm your email address. Check your email in-box for an automatic email from Google containing a verification code. Cut and paste the verification code from the email into the form and then click the “Verify Account” button.
# 5: Now you will be in your account where you can manage your claims. Of course, during your first visit, you won’t have any books listed yet. In order to claim your first book, click the “Find and claim” link hiding at the very bottom of the screen.
# 6: When you click that link you will see this page, which provides you with choices for how to best locate the book you want to claim. In almost all cases you will want to first conduct
a search for the book to see if Google can find it for you.
Click the “Continue” button once you have the “Search for books” choice selected to see
Try to be as specific as possible at first, and then more and more general to double and triple check that your book is not in Google’s system before entering it manually. Check via title and ISBN first. The “older” your book is, the more likely it is that Google already has the title within its database, waiting for you to claim your rights to it.
If you are positive there are no matches for your title, click the “Add a book if it is not listed above” link at the very bottom to add your book manually.
# 7: Once you add the book, search for it to get this screen, where you can select the book by checking off the check-box to the left of the title. Make sure the book listed is truly your book. It is unlawful to lay claim to a book for which you don’t own the rights. On the other hand, completing this process for all your books will prevent someone else from mistakenly
laying claim to your book(s).
The click the button that says “Finish claim form for selected books.”
# 8: The following screen is a little confusing. You must first assert your rights and you do this by clicking the difficult-to-find “Assert rights” link within the title box at the top of the screen:
It will ask if you are asserting rights for the book, or an insert. In 95% of the cases, it will be for the book, so choose the “book” choice followed by the appropriate answer to the subsequent question concerning rights. Here, in nearly all the cases of self-published POD
books, you will choose the first choice: “I own the rights” but double check your own publishing contract agreement first.
If you are an Outskirts Press author, this choice is easy. You ALWAYS own all the rights.
# 9: Click the “Save and Continue” button, then read and certify the certification section by clicking the check box next to the “I certify that…” language.
Click the “Submit Claim” button and you’re done. If you have more than one book, repeat the process as many times as necessary.
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