The right to make copies of any creative work belong automatically and naturally to its author. There is easy-to-access information about copyright basics available at copyright.gov. Get started on this page. Briefly, you do not need to file a form or pay a fee to hold the copyright to your work. At your first opportunity, you should simply add a copyright notice to your draft manuscript. That is sufficient to claim your copyright. Make sure that all copies of your work carry your copyright notice. The standard form for this is “Copyright [year] [name of copyright owner]. All rights reserved.” The copyright symbol (which can be rendered as (c) if you can’t insert the fancier version, ©) isn’t necessary but is often used. Later, if you want to register your copyrighted work, you can do so starting at copyright.gov.