So I just finished my first chapbook, and self-produced about 15 copies on my computer at home (with some illegal help from the Xerox at work...shhhh). My plan for these copies is to hand them out to friends, as well as scatter a few in habitable places such as local coffeeshops.
My dilemma is this: One of my more practical friends has pointed out the possibility of my work being stolen should I put it out there in the public eye without a copyright. I know little about copyright law, and don't know what steps I should take, if any. Is merely putting "Copright 2003" with my name on the title page suficient, or do I actually have to register the book somewhere?
Any help that could be given would be immensely appreciated.