I recently completed my first novel and being a potential nitwit, I copyrighted it. At the time a certain amount of plagarism accusations were hitting the news so it seemed like a good idea. Since then I've been advised towards copywriting and against. The against advice frames the argument that it may date the work and cause publishers to think of it as stale. I'd like your expertly heeled self to settle the debate.
Nitwit or appropriately cautious?
First, there's a lot about copyright (NOT copywrite) in the Snarkives. Thanks to Miss Adventure (sainthood pending) those Snarkives are indexed. Dive in.
However, we're here now, looking at your (c) so let's review.
1. Your work enjoys copyright protection from the moment it is realized. That means when pen hits paper, stylus hits thinkpad, blood meets sweat of your brow, etc.
2. What you did is called REGISTERING your copyright. The only thing this does is enable you to sue for DAMAGES (not infringement...you can sue for that without registering) if someone infringes.
What this means is that if some witfree Snark wannabe takes Miss Snark's pearls of wisdom and creates his/her own blog and posts the stolen pearls as his/her own, Miss Snark can indeed come roaring down like the proverbial Kansas house and crush that striped stocking wannabe and make her delete the posts. What I can't do is collect damages because Miss Snark's blog is not registered with the copyright office.
Now, let's all agree that Miss Snark is a savvy beast, and avariciious as the next Kansas farmgirl in the big city, so if it was a good idea to register copyright, don't you think Miss Snark would have done it? exactly.
What you can do however is just not advertise your lapse to the world by NOT putting (c) 1986 on your manuscript. Just don't mention it at all. The chances that the title will change, and the content will change when you sell this masterpiece are pretty good so you'll end up registering the new version anyway. And...it's the publisher that registers the copyright, not the author.
You've made a novice error but you can recover. You'll make more. We all do.