Self-Publishing In Kenya #3: Legal Check List

Technology has made it possible for an increasing number of authors to venture into self-publishing. However, writing a book can be a daunting task. Publishing it even more so.

Here are a few legal aspects of publishing to keep in mind if you choose to self-publish:


This is your exclusive legal right as an author over your original literary work that you can assign to another party through license or sale.

It constitutes your moral right to recognition as the originator of the work and economic right to be paid any dues that come directly or indirectly from the work. 

Copyright Registration 

Any published work is automatically considered copyrighted by the publisher. 

However, copyright registration of your literary work through the Kenya Copyright Board is important as the registration certificate you get acts as proof of ownership in the event you want to license or sell your copyright or there’s dispute of ownership. 

Intellectual Property Law (IP Law)

Book copyright matters fall under Intellectual Property law. While there are lawyers who may have general knowledge in these area, the best lawyers to consult are IP lawyers who have specialised in this area and know what to look out for on your behalf. 


Don’t get into any publishing or service agreements without a contract whose terms and conditions you fully understand. Many creatives end up getting raw deals because of not having the right contracts in place or signing contracts that undermine their rights rather than protect them. 

KNLS Book Submission 

The Kenya National Library Services (KNLS) is mandated to collect 2 copies of every book published in or with an interest to Kenya within 14 days of publication. As a self-publisher, it’s up to you to submit the same to KNLS. 

*Disclaimer: This post is for general information purposes only and does not constitute  professional business or legal advice on any matters addressed.

Published by Telios Press

Kenyan publisher that makes self-publishing simple, affordable & fun for African authors.

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