In setting about writing and publishing my first novel, I took some good advice: “Treat it like a business project.” While I could not afford an editor, I did hire a professional illustrator for the cover and purchased fairly expensive software tools (Scrivener, Grammerly) to write and self-edit the novel.
The last bit to complete was the Library of Congress copyright registration. While it’s true that as soon as you write it, you have a valid copyright, a government-issued copyright gives you more cover as it records the ISBN number and publication date. It cost about $35. Here is my copyright.
Let’s be straight, I sent them a paperback copy and we all know that it is on a cart being wheeled into the same massive government warehouse where they stashed the “Ark of the Covenant.”