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Category Archives: All things Legal

The Traps in Publishing Contracts

ebooksinternational:

The key to a good publishing contract is clarity. For authors, it is helpful to keep in mind that most contracts are not take-it-or-leave-it propositions. Be courteous. Be tactful. Knowing what to ask for is critical. Use an agent or attorney who understands the parameters of the typical publishing deal to negotiate your contract. Working through an agent or attorney allows the author to preserve his creative relationship with the editor or publishing house, explains Attorney Lloyd J. Jassin on his website.

 

Originally posted on Savvy Writers & e-Books online:

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Traditional Publishing Contracts – Part Two of a Series 

There should be a large neon sign that says: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER sign a contract without having your contract lawyer going over it and explaining it to you in detail – sentence for sentence. The contract clauses described here in this blog post are the “norm” in publishing. It is difficult to see how your publishing agreement will play out in the long term, what you sign today could have profound, long term consequences.

Contract attorney Ivan Hoffman explains in his blog:
“In the US, many contracts that consumers commonly sign, such as for mortgage or auto loans or to
obtain a credit card, are subject to statutory requirements for fairness, clarity, etc.  If some of the clauses and drafting techniques commonly included in publishing contracts used by publishers were found in consumer contracts, those provisions would be…

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Less than Minimum Wage for Authors?

ebooksinternational:

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Are you thinking about approaching an agent or publisher for your next book? Do you know what clauses publishing contracts usually contain? How do you read a publishing contract? What your income will be – compared to author-publishing? This blog post and the following two will help you to “take the con out of the work con-tract”.

Wikipedia explains: “A publishing contract is a legal contract between a publisher and a writer or author, to publish written material by the writer or author. This may involve a single written work, or a series of works.” And as with every legal contract, authors are faring better when consulting a lawyer that is specialized in publishing contracts – BEFORE – they sign it.  

 

Originally posted on Savvy Writers & e-Books online:

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Justicia

Justicia

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Traditional Publishing Contracts – Part One of a Series

You might remember an article How Harlequin Publishing Deceives Their Authors from last summer in this blog, about the planned class action suit against the publisher. Today I stumbled about a sequel of J.A. Konrath’s blog: Harlekin Fail, Part 2, where he explains the contract practices of the trade publishers in general, and how they deceive their authors. From today on we will look more closely into these practices.
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When offered the opportunity to publish traditionally, about two-thirds of self-published authors are interested. The supposed prestige of a traditional publisher, the wide distribution a publisher can generate and help with marketing, are the reasons, cited in surveys.
However the perception of traditional publishing is often not up to date in public, as the way of book marketing (and the whole traditional publishing business) has totally…

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It’s this Time of the Year

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Income-Tax

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Benjamin Franklin said that “nothing is certain but death and taxes.”  It’s that time of the year again when we all must sit down and face the reality of just how much we did or did not earn during the last twelve months. Many writers are not aware of how they should be reporting certain income to get the greatest benefit.  Writers can get away with business tax deductions that ordinary people can’t get away with. Michael N. Marcus wrote a great article and showed samples of “tax avoidance”:
“If you are an author or a journalist, the key to creative tax avoidance is to write about things you like.”

 

  • If you like to travel, write about travel, and then deduct the cost of traveling.
  • If you like cars, rent some really cool cars, and write about them.
  • If you like to eat—and who doesn’t?—go to lots of restaurants, attend cooking schools, stock your pantry, and write about food.

Read his whole blog article here:  It’s Time to Think About Taxes

 

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Writers are presumed to be a professional if their writing made a profit in at least three out of the last five tax years, including the current year. Which means:  Not more than two years of expenses that are higher than the author income. Profits from your writing cannot be used to offset other income for tax purposes, such as a day job or other means of income, if you have more than two years of losses.

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Considerations of Profitability
There are a couple of other considerations that revenue agencies, such as the IRS, are listing, for example:

  • Have you made a profit in similar activities in the past? If you have a successful book under your belt — or even a series of articles in paid publications, such as newspapers, magazines or online publications, which can be a predictor that you are a professional writer.
  • Do you have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business? How much do you know about running that business? Are you running it like a business, keeping records, keeping an eye to profitability? Did you take classes/seminars about the publishing business (e.g. marketing or tax etc.) no matter if online or offline?
  • Have you created a professional book marketing and publicity plan? This might even be shown by including affiliate programs on your website/blog. If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond your control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?

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Expenses You Can Deduct
Always try to pay from a separate account, set up for your writing business, to make book keeping easier. Keep receipts or / make copies of payments to contractors, freelancers and agency fees for book production, such as:

  • Proofreading
  • Editing
  • Illustrations
  • Photos
  • Graphic Design
  • Book Layout
  • Printing costs
  • eBook Formatting
  • Advanced Copy reviews
  • Book Trailer Design
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Book Promotion Costs, e.g.:

  • Advertisements, online and offline
  • Giveaways (free books, review copies, pens etc.)
  • Flyers, brochures, business cards, book marks
  • Book Fair expenses
  • Costs for newsletters (AWeber, MailChimp etc.)
  • Entry fee for writing contests
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Other costs, such as:

  • Transportation costs (note the dates, distance, reason)
  • Rental for book readings
  • Office rental or mortgage, heating, electricity for your home office by square feet
  • Phone / Internet / e-Reader costs
  • Website / blog costs, such as hosting or development
  • Office Supplies
  • Meal expenses: in the USA full for public events you might host, and 50% if it is for a business purpose (interview, writers conference, meeting with book professionals, publishers, agents etc.)
  • Transportation to meetings, events
  • Research costs
  • Copyright registration and ISBN fees
  • Your tax preparer or tax lawyer.
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Keep all your expense slips sorted by date and neatly filed to make it easier to find them
If you pay anyone of the above listed more than a couple of hundred dollars, you would need to include the contract and a form (in the United States it is IRS Form 1099-MISC). Note for each meal/entertainment expense the names, number of people participating and reason for meeting).

Further Reading:
http://www.freelancetaxation.com/deductions-writers
http://www.bus.lsu.edu/accounting/faculty/lcrumbley/tax_aspects.html

Disclaimer: These tips are meant to give general insight into tax information to writers, especially in the USA, and to give you an entry point so you can research further. While every effort was made to ensure the information in this article is accurate at the time it was written, we are not tax experts. Anyone filing taxes should consult a qualified tax prepare r for updated tax laws and further specifics on how these rules might apply to your individual tax situation.

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for 3 months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials or your KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1.070 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

 

 

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9 Tips Where & How to Query to Literary Agents

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Literary-Agents-NY
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A typical literary agency receives close to 5,000 unsolicited query letters/book proposals per year – or approx. 150 per working day. On average these agents accept only 10-12 new clients – only one out of every 500 submissions… Do you want to learn how to write a query, and how to approach the agent?
Do you want to get to know more about the person before hand – after all, she or he will be your partner for a long time?  My best advice: Read their blogs to get informed about the process and find out more about how they work and what they are like before you approach them. And have a “business plan” for your book ready: Who will be your readers, who is your competition and how will you market your book. You will be asked for this! Here are some examples of questions you might be asked.
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Rachelle Gardner Rachelle Gardner is an agent with Books and Such Literary Agency, representing both fiction and non-fiction. She offers query tips and book proposal advice.
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Nathan Bransford Nathan Bransford knows a lot about writing and publishing, and offers in his blog advice on: How to Find a Literary Agent, How to Write a Query Letter, The Basic Query Letter Formula, Examples of Good Queries, How to Format Your Query Letter …
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Agent Research Ask them about an agent and they will tell you if he or she has established a public record, and if we have had any negative reports on the agent’s business practices. This service is free.
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Agent Query Agent Query offers the largest and most current searchable database of literary agents on the web—a treasure trove of reputable, established literary agents seeking writers.
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BookEnds Agency BookEnds, LLC, is a literary agency focusing on fiction and nonfiction books for adult audiences. In their workshop Wednesdays everyone can post queries out there and will get comments open, also to anonymous posters.
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Nelson Newsletter Kristin Nelsons blog is a-must-read for every author about to send out a query. Subscribe to the Nelson Literary Agency newsletter.
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Query Shark Send your query in for critique. A wealth of resources and Janet Reid shares them all, she also dissects queries, posting lots of examples what writers are doing right – and wrong!
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Query Wednesday Gabriela Lessa, a Brazilian editor, writer, literary agent assistant and journalist helps you with your query. Have your query analyzed on QUERY WEDNESDAY.
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Call My Agent!
In which a literary agent in Sydney, Australia attempts to decode the world of publishing in order to assist writers. And sometimes to get things off her chest.

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Resources and More Blogs About Literary Agents:
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What Literary Agents Want to Know From You
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/what-literary-agents-want-to-know-from-you/
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How Agents work and How to work with Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/how-agents-work-how-to-work-with-agents/ .
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Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
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http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
How to Write a Query Letter
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http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/5-tips-for-successful-book-submissions/
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100’s of Links to Publishers and Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/100s-of-links-to-publishers-and-agents/
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Which Literary Agent is Right for You?
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/which-literary-agent-is-right-for-you/
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Association of Author’s Representatives (lists agents)
http://aaronline.org/

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For more agent blogs go to the absolutewrite forum: 

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37784
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When you check out the agent, you’ll want to contact “Writer Beware
Visit often and get the latest alerts from WRITER BEWARE:
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/
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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars  Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,030 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Get Even More Royalties for Your Book

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A study found that 80% of all copies made on copy machines are from books!  As a Writer and first-time publisher, back in Europe in the early 1980’s, I was thrilled when I received a my first copy-royalty cheque for $180.00 from VG WORT.
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Later I found out that the same system works well in Canada under the name ACCESS COPYRIGHT.  One of the benefits of being a small publisher or trade-published writer in Canada!  However you must have set up a small business in Canada, if you are not with an established (not Vanity) publisher ACCESS COPYRIGHT explains on their website:

Join Access Copyright for Free 
If you are a writer, publisher or visual artist, Access Copyright is an organization that believes that you should be fairly compensated when your works are copied.  By becoming an affiliate of Access Copyright, you will have access to services that will help maximize royalty income for the secondary use of your works.
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Benefits of Being an Access Copyright Affiliate

Royalty Payments: They ensure our affiliates are fairly compensated.

Affiliate Outreach: They make sure the interests of their affiliates are heard by policy and decision makers on important issues, such as intellectual property.

International Network: Access Copyright has reciprocal agreements with reproduction rights organizations (RROs) from around the world. When their affiliates’ works have been copied in a country with which they have an agreement, they distribute the royalties to them.

Becoming an Access Copyright affiliate is free.
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International:
In the United States, Copyright Clearance Center, short CCC, compensates publishers and creators / writers for the use of their work.

Their subsidiary RightsDirect does the same in several European Countries.  German authors and publishers join VG WORT, to be precise: members of the European Union and authors who have Germany as their place of residence.  –  Let us know about other countries : )

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 960 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Authors: Which of Your Expenses are Tax-Deductible?

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Tax-Deductions

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Income tax preparation might be months away, but it is never too early to start collecting expense receipts. Many self-published book authors want to make a profit and become a professional author, having writing as their vocation.  Writers are presumed to be a professional if their writing made a profit in at least three out of the last five tax years, including the current year. Which means:  Not more than two years of expenses that are higher than the author income. Profits from your writing cannot be used to offset other income for tax purposes, such as a day job or other means of income, if you have more than two years of losses.

.
Considerations of Profitability
There are a couple of other considerations that revenue agencies, such as the IRS, are listing, for example:

  • Have you made a profit in similar activities in the past? If you have a successful book under your belt — or even a series of articles in paid publications, such as newspapers, magazines or online publications, which can be a predictor that you are a professional writer.
  • Do you have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business? How much do you know about running that business? Are you running it like a business, keeping records, keeping an eye to profitability? Did you take classes/seminars about the publishing business (e.g. marketing or tax etc.) no matter if online or offline?
  • Have you created a professional book marketing and publicity plan? This might even be shown by including affiliate programs on your website/blog. If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond your control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?

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Expenses You Can Deduct
Always try to pay from a separate account, set up for your writing business, to make book keeping easier. Keep receipts or / make copies of payments to contractors, freelancers and agency fees for book production, such as:

  • Proofreading
  • Editing
  • Illustrations
  • Photos
  • Graphic Design
  • Book Layout
  • Printing costs
  • eBook Formatting
  • Advanced Copy reviews
  • Book Trailer Design
    .

Book Promotion Costs, e.g.:

  • Advertisements, online and offline
  • Giveaways (free book review copies, pens etc.)
  • Flyers, brochures, business cards, book marks
  • Book Fair expenses
  • Costs for newsletters (AWeber, MailChimp etc.)
  • Entry fee for writing contests
    .

Other costs, such as:

  • Transportation costs (note the dates, distance, reason)
  • Rental for book readings
  • Office rental or mortgage, heating, electricity for your home office by square feet
  • Phone / Internet / e-Reader costs
  • Website / blog costs, such as hosting or development
  • Office Supplies
  • Meal expenses: in the USA full for public events you might host, and 50% if it is for a business purpose (interview, writers conference, meeting with book professionals, publishers, agents etc.)
  • Transportation to meetings, events
  • Research costs
  • Copyright registration and ISBN fees
  • your tax preparer or tax lawyer.
    .

Keep all your expense slips sorted by date and neatly filed to make it easier to find them
If you pay anyone of the above listed more than a couple of hundred dollars, you would need to include the contract and a form (in the United States it is IRS Form 1099-MISC). Note for each meal/entertainment expense the names, number of people participating and reason for meeting)

Further Reading:
http://www.freelancetaxation.com/deductions-writers
http://www.bus.lsu.edu/accounting/faculty/lcrumbley/tax_aspects.html

Disclaimer: These tips are meant to give general insight into tax information to writers, especially in the USA, and to give you an entry point so you can research further. While every effort was made to ensure the information in this article is accurate at the time it was written, we are not tax experts. Anyone filing taxes should consult a qualified tax prepare r for updated tax laws and further specifics on how these rules might apply to your individual tax situation.

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for 3 months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials or your KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 940 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Aiming for a Movie Deal for Your Book?

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Book-to-Movie
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Admit it:  As an author you are dreaming of a movie deal. You might think getting a book deal with a publisher – don’t think getting a movie deals is easier!  Here are some beginner insights into how movie deals work. Check out the links for more. Movie rights are part of sub rights or subsidiary rights – even so these rights are hard to sell. And if you get a foot in the door: Almost all production companies and film producers offer first an option for a film.
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What exactly is an option?
Fred Rosen explains what options are: “It is a rental. A production company or studio reserves the right to make your work into a film, MOW or TV show for a specific length of time. In the past, the standard option was for a year, with two renewable one-year options. Taking advantage of the recent recession, producers have now been able to negotiate the first option to 18 months. Regardless, each time a company picks up the option, you get paid just for sitting on your movie rights. In the meantime, they’ll try to secure the money to make the adaptation and get someone to write the script (though it probably won’t be you—Hollywood prefers to use its own writers to adapt work).”

He furter explains: What can get optioned?
“Just about anything. Published novels and nonfiction books. Magazine articles. Short stories. Unpublished work can break through, too, when someone who has a connection with a production company discovers something and passes it on (Frank Capra based It’s a Wonderful Life on an unpublished short story by Philip Van Doren Stern). But you should generally focus on getting published first—because the print imprimatur still demands the highest price when optioned.”
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How much is an option worth?
“Options start at $500 and go up. In today’s market, $5,000 and more is excellent. It’s impossible to offer an average because it depends on so many factors, the most important being how much the production company wants the work.”
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Do I need a film agent to make the option sale?
Rosen says: “Generally, yes. If you have a literary agent, look at your contract and see if the agent gets points for a film sale; if so, encourage her to send your work to a film agent she’s familiar with (the two will split the commission). If you don’t have an agent, it’s fine to query film agents directly. They’re always looking for salable stuff to pitch to Hollywood. Be straightforward in your pitch: Briefly summarize the work to be optioned, where it’s published and your bio.”
Read all of Fred Rosen’s tips here and get an idea how much you might earn.
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Tips by John Kremer
“Most movie deals involve as many as a dozen decision makers. One of the best ways to get a movie deal for a novel (I presume your book is a novel) is to target the A-list actor or actress who would be the best person to play the role of your main character. Many A-list actors have their own production companies or in-place deals for a certain number of movies – and can sometimes (not always) pick which movies they’d like to be in.
For most movie deals to get completed, though, there has to be key actors, a director, a screenwriter, and a producer committed to the movie. That’s why 90% of potential movie deals never get completed – because the package can’t be put together to sell the investors on funding the movie.
Of those four key pieces, the easiest to target is the actor or actress, because most non-industry people know what movies have been made by actors and actresses. Plus it’s generally easy for a novelist to picture who should pay the key role or roles in a movie made from their novel.
How do you get in touch with the actors you’ve identified as potential role players? You can try through their management company (agent or manager), via their personal website (if they have one), or sometimes even via a tweet to their @profile on Twitter.
But probably the best way is to use your connections to see if someone you know knows the actor you want to reach or the best friend of that actor or a close relative, etc.. Once you’ve located a connection, ask them to get you a personal introduction to the actor. Not just a kind word, or a token email, but – if possible – an in-person introduction.”
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Tips by Courtney Carpenter
“If you don’t have an agent, and have no contacts in the business, you can still market your script on your own. Before you try, however, take one preparatory step: Register your script with the Writer’s Guild of America. Registration provides a dated record of the writer’s claim to authorship and can be used as evidence in legal disputes about authorship.”

If you want to break into television:
“It’s generally not a good idea to write scripts for a series of your invention. Full-time, experienced, professional writers earn monumental salaries doing just that; why compete with them? Instead, tape several shows of an existing series. Watch them repeatedly. Learn who the characters are, how they would behave in a situation. One writer even advised typing up the script as you watch an episode to help you understand the flow of the dialogue.”

“Also watch the credits of a TV show you enjoy, noting the names of the producers. You can write to them, asking them to read your script. While the number of scripts bought from freelancers in television is small, it does happen. After targeting a show, write polite query letters to producers or story editors – usually people who rewrite scripts and deal with freelancers), explaining your fondness for and familiarity with the show and your desire to send a spec script. Then, even if your script is rejected, it may be a good enough calling card to get you invited to pitch other ideas to the producers.
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Mark Terry cautions:
“Movie contracts are a byzantine mess and unless you have an agent who specializes in movie contracts, your agent might suggest hooking up with a film agent or entertainment attorney, who will either get a flat fee or perhaps another percentage ….”

“What you do have to do is to watch out for production companies that want to have an option dirt cheap or hold on to the property for an unreasonable length of time.”

However, he has also an interesting story to tell about the movie rights / options for: “Catch Me If You Can.” That book was optioned about 20 times before Spielberg made the movie with Tom Hanks. The author commented it was great, he kept getting about $20,000 per year for a book that wasn’t really selling any more.”

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Q&A by Warren Adler:
Just a few samples of a long list of questions and answers / tips by Warren Adler

QUESTION:
If I wanted to sell my book rights to Movie producers, How would I go about doing that?
Warren Adler answered:
You would have to get yourself a Hollywood agent who believes that your book has a shot at a movie deal. Unless you are plugged into that world, have an agent or a book that has attracted some interest, your chances are pretty slim. Unfortunately there is no direct path to the movie world unless you happen to know actors, producers, directors and those deeply involved who can get a movie made.

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QUESTION:
I have inherited the film rights to a world famous, best selling (on Amazon) science fiction novel. While I realize the worth of the property is only what a studio is willing to pay, I’m wondering what is a good starting point in the negotiations? I’m not interested in back-end royalties, ancillary merchandising, or alternate distribution modes, but rather a 1 price, get it over with deal. Is $5 million totally absurd? $3 million? Are there other avenues to explore outside the Hollywood morass?
Warren Adler answered:
I would suggest you find a Hollywood agent who is willing to negotiate a deal. Before you start counting numbers you had better see if the interest matches your expectation. There are numerous lists on the internet of agents, producers, actors and others in the movie business.

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QUESTION:
I wrote a book ten years ago based on a real event–a horrific mass murder that occurred in GA in the 1800s. It sold extremely well but is now out of print. (It is considered a rare book on Amazon). Recently a screenwriter tracked me down and says he wants to convert my book to a script for movie. After the book went out of print I did not renew my agent’s contract. I have no idea who this screenwriter is and how to negotiate. I have no intentions of signing over the rights to just anyone. Any advice?
Warren Adler answered:
Get a lawyer who deals with intellectual properties. Never give rights away. It may be the screenwriter is willing to pay,( even a modest amount might do it) with a big bonus at the back end if he sells the script for a production. Put a time limit on it. Say a one year option, renewable for another year. If he wants the rights for nothing, walk away. It doesn’t matter if the book is out of print or not, its still your property. As for the agent, he could make a claim depending on the old contract. A lawyer will know. Try to set a price with the lawyer in advance. It could be worth it, since the book’s subject matter, which caught the screenwriter’s eye may have a lot more value than you think.

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QUESTION:
I have written a series of books and the first one has been published. The publisher wrote me that my stories are ‘movie stuff’. How do I go about marketing these books as a miniseries or movies?
Warren Adler answered:
Find yourself an agent in Hollywood. Unless you have personal contacts in the film or television industry, the process is difficult. You might try writing a one page summary of your work and send it off to Hollywood agents, producers, actors, directors etc. There are also numerous scouts out there looking for material. I don’t mean to be discouraging, but unless you are approached the chances of your work getting noticed can be a labor intensive chore. Of course, you could get lucky and find in your networking or readership base someone who might get you to a producer.

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QUESTION:
Recently my novel “The Family Bones” came out in print. Today, I received two separate letters, one from a major film company, and another from a major agency in Los Angeles inquiring about movie rights for my book. I am astounded. I referred them both to my agent, but what would you suggest is the going rate. These are both legitimate contacts.
Warren Adler answered:
There is no going rate. If its a producer with a studio deal the chances are it will be more than an independent would pay. They’ll probably ask for a one year option with renewal terms. Get as much as you can and be sure your agent knows how to negotiate with them. They will option thousands of books and very few will get made. It is indeed a leg up, but you are dealing with seasoned hustlers and you must protect yourself.

Dozens and dozens more questions and Warren Adler’s answers. Check them out! Interesting reads. BTW: Warren Adler is the author of the famous movie: “The War of Roses”.
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Now, what’s an author to do?
First of all: BE PERSISTENT! Don’t stop to send out queries. Know that it is not easy to get a movie deal. Read and research everything you can find about movie rights and contracts. Perfect your query letter to movie editors, directors, A-class actors and producers. Explore each avenue and if you get an offer, first google this company carefully, together with the word complaint. Do use the help of a movie agent and a contract lawyer, at least for your first movie contract, even if it takes a percentage of your option.

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-Book-PR.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 900 of them : ) – if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

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We’re on to “those” people – Trolls

ebooksinternational:

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Book-Reviews

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You might have read last weeks blog: Got a 1-Star Review? What Can You Do?
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/got-a-1-star-review-what-can-you-do/
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“I heard this from many authors, and don’t even want to call them reviews – as these people totally ignore the rules how to write a book review – rather bashing authors and their work. Some people are hoarding free books, without checking them before, they don’t even read the “Look Inside” part on Amazon’s page and then, when it is not the right genre or a book in a series, or when it is too long or too short, they write harsh complaints, instead of writing a fair and professional review. Scathing and destructive reviews can be posted for reasons such as:

  • The review is from a competitor (friend)
  • The reviewer is envious to not be able to write her/himself
  • He/she is an all around miserable person

Carolynne Keenan has written a great blog post about these “review trolls” – and what Goodreads is now doing about it. Don’t miss to also read the author comments.
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Originally posted on One Story Slinger:

Remember in the “olden” days when products sold based on marketing, advertising and word-of-mouth? Well, those days have been long gone ever since the Internet. Now anyone can buy a product on Amazon.com or Sephora or a myriad of other consumer sites and post his or her review of the purchased product. As if other consumers are waiting with bated breath for their reviews.

Reviews have their place, of course. I’d much rather see what others thought of an expensive makeup item Sephora sells before doling out the dough, only to be disappointed. Sites like Steepster.com, in which testers log tasted tea, give participants a chance to review more than just one company’s product. And if you’re investing in a larger purchase – a computer, or a TV – reading reviews from fellow consumers can save you time, money and effort.

The problem is most reviews are on the honor system…

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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in All things Legal, Book Reviews

 

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The Traps in Publishing Contracts

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Traps-in-Publishing-Contracts
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Traditional Publishing Contracts – Part Two of a Series 

There should be a large neon sign that says: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER sign a contract without having your contract lawyer going over it and explaining it to you in detail – sentence for sentence. The contract clauses described here in this blog post are the “norm” in publishing. It is difficult to see how your publishing agreement will play out in the long term, what you sign today could have profound, long term consequences.

Contract attorney Ivan Hoffman explains in his blog:
“In the US, many contracts that consumers commonly sign, such as for mortgage or auto loans or to
obtain a credit card, are subject to statutory requirements for fairness, clarity, etc.  If some of the clauses and drafting techniques commonly included in publishing contracts used by publishers were found in consumer contracts, those provisions would be deemed void and unenforceable. In some cases, they might even constitute consumer fraud and would subject publishers to fines and penalties.”
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My advice: Before you even have a publishing contract meeting, do your homework and google the publisher, adding the word “complaint”. You might be surprised what you will discover!
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Publishing contracts are not negotiated from the ground up between the author and the publisher. They are prepared by the Publisher and delivered to the Author as though ready for signature.  And many authors sign without understanding what the contract contains or what rights they are giving up. They focus only on the royalty rate and the advance, if there is any. While those points are important, they might be far less important than some other provisions in the agreement. Authors should not assume a “standard” contract will be fair or equitable. Nor should authors assume they will be able to easily get out of that contract if found out later to be unfair.
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Samples of unfavorable publishing contracts

Duration of the contract and Territory:
“Author grants and assigns to publisher the sole and exclusive rights to the manuscript throughout the
territory, (which means the World – I have seen contracts that state “throughout the Universe” ….) during the entire term of the copyright and any renewals and extensions thereof.”

What is means: This contract is for the life of the author, plus 70 years after her death, plus renewals and extensions, binding to your heirs as well… Have you ever seen or signed a contract that extends beyond your lifetime? Pretty unfair and one-sided! It also should have a clause, that you get the rights back if the publishers doesn’t exploit it in a given time. For example: if they don’t translate your book into French, Spanish or Cantonese, they should state in the contract to return the rights for those countries to you, say after 2 or 3 years. Most likely they will refuse to …
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Rights granted by the author to the publisher:
“The Publisher has the exclusive rights to:

  • Magazine or newspaper before and following publication
  • Publication of condensations, abridgments, and in anthologies
  • Book club publication
  • Direct sale and mail order”

What it means: In their contracts, publishers will almost always seek to obtain ALL rights to the
manuscript. No author should give up all rights. If the author is in a stronger bargaining position, the
author may be able to withhold electronic rights, foreign rights or any other of the rights. If for any reason the contract terminates, there should be a clause, dealing directly with what happens to the rights in the book in those events. Do the rights revert to the author?
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Manuscript delivery and unsatisfactory material:
“If the manuscript for a book is not, in publisher’s sole judgement, satisfactory in all respects, the
publisher may terminate this agreement upon written notice.”

What it means: the Publisher can end the deal for pretty much any reason it sees fit, or for no reason at all. This clause has no single criteria to determine if a book is satisfactory – and it doesn’t give the author equal power to terminate the contract if she/he is not satisfied by the book the publisher created, for example if the publisher did not edit the book properly, priced it to high for the market or choose a terrible cover or a ridiculous title?
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Advances and Royalties

What is an advance
An advance payment is not a signing bonus. Instead, it is money the publisher is paying the author to live on while the book is being written. The publisher will be paid back this money once the book starts selling. They will take the advance money right off the top of your earnings. Depending on the size of your advance and how well your book sells, you may not receive any royalty payments for a long time. Maybe never. When a book sells enough copies to cover the cost of the advance, it means the book “has earned out.” Now your royalties can start rolling in …
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Royalties:
“Hardcover: 10% of the invoice price for the first 5000 copies, 12.5% thereof for copies from 5001 to
10,000, and 15% thereof for copies in excess of 10,000. Mass Market Paperback: 8% of the invoice
price for the first 150,000 and 10% thereof for all copies thereafter. On Ebooks: 25% of the amounts
received by Publisher, excluding taxes and handling charges.”

What it means: Between 8% and 12.5% for books is a pitance, and a lousy pay for the hard work of the author. And equally outrageous is what the author gets on e-books: 25% royalties – which is equivalent to 17.5% of the list price. However, the publisher gets 52.5% of the list price! Compare it to 70% you get from Amazon for books between $2.99 and $9.99. Do I need to say more?
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Royalty Payments
“Publisher shall provide Author with semi-annual royalty statements showing the amount due to the
Author, by April 1 and October 1 of each year for the six-month period ending the preceding December 31 and June 30th, respectively.”

What it means: These publishers might have never heard from a computer, nor do they use any : ) It does not take 6 months to compile the data for sold books, Amazon shoes your sales in mere minutes, and Barnes&Noble, CreateSpace and Kobo pay monthly. But if the money is withheld for months,it’s to the Publisher’s advantage. The longer, the more interest they can earn on the principal due to delayed payments.
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Most important: What is your royalty based on?
Retail price? Wholesale price? Or net price? Bookstores and other retailers get often deep discounts, up to 55%. If your contract states 10% of net, and the book is delivered at 55% discount to retailers, you might end up with only a couple of cents per book …

  • At a discount of 50%, 20% of net is same as 10% of the retail price of your book
  • At a discount of 40%, 16,66% of net is same as 10% of the lretail price of your book
  • At a discount of 20%, 12,5% of net is the same as 10% of the list price of your book

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Joint accounts – another trick of the trade publishers:
“Books one, two, and three will be held in a joint and open account, and the publisher shall not pay the
author’s share of royalties and subsidiary rights income on any book of the work until the author’s share of royalties and subsidiary rights income for all books exceeds the total advance.”

What it means: If you have a three-book deal with an advance of $60,000, you don’t make a cent in
royalties until all $60,000 has earned out – if for example book one earns already royalties, those
royalties go toward paying off the advances on books two and three. This is called a basket account or joint accounting. This way you might not earn anything, even with one very successful book, just
because other books in the basket weren’t as successful, often at the publishers fault – or haven’t been released yet.
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Statements and Payments
“Books one, two, and three will be held in a joint and open account, and the publisher shall not pay the
author’s share of royalties and subsidiary rights income on any book of the work until the author’s share of royalties and subsidiary rights income for all books exceeds the total advance.”

What it means: If you have a three-book deal with an advance of $60,000, you don’t make a cent in
royalties until all $60,000 has earned out – if for example book one earns already royalties, those
royalties go toward paying off the advances on books two and three. This is called a basket account or joint accounting. This way you might not earn anything, even with one very successful book, just
because other books in the basket weren’t as successful, often at the publishers fault – or haven’t been released yet.
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Reasonable Reserve
“The publisher may retain a reasonable reserve against returns in any accounting period. If the author
receives an over-payment of royalties resulting from copies of the work reported, sold, but subsequently returned, the author shall repay such amounts to Publisher to the extent that Publisher is not able to deduct such amounts from monies due to Author at the end of the royalty payment period after the period in which the over-payment is discovered.

What it means: This looks like a Publisher can pretty much withhold money from an author, and it
doesn’t define what a “reasonable” reserve is.

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As contract lawyer Ivan Hoffman wrote:
“However, in the absence of consumer-type protections, the laws governing (publishing) business contracts assume that each party to such contracts will watch out for themselves. If both parties sign a contract, the strong presumption is that each party understood what the contract meant and voluntarily agreed to be bound by it. In extreme cases, if a lawsuit were filed, a contract might be deemed unconscionable and voided in whole or in part, but that is a high hurdle to clear.”
Knowing the problem is widespread, doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Big companies are exploiting artists. They are getting rich, and the creators are getting shafted.
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Stay tuned for number three (final) in the series, and spread the word, RE-BLOG these articles, so that as much writers as possible learn about the tactics of the publishing industry and how to read between the lines.

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Resources:

Great Book Contract Checklist

Book Publishing Contracts: Checklist of Deal Terms

Copyright Termination

How to Read a Book Contract

Author Concerns and Complaints at Crimson Romance Contracts

Blog Posts by a New York Contract Lawyer

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 840+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

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5 Laws Writers Should Adhere

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Sour Lemons

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E-Book authors, bloggers or internet writers: do you know how to stay on the right side of the (copyright) law?  You don’t have to be legally trained or a lawyer to understand the laws that govern internet content and blogging. Here are the most important ones:
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1. Use of images from other websites and blogs
You do not have permission to use just any image you find on the internet.  But how can you legally use images?  You can simply buy royalty-free images and not have to worry about copyright. Or you can ask for permission to use it when you find an image you like on someone else’s website. A sign of good manners and a thank you to the creator is to have a link to his site and/or giving him credit.

Another great source to find free images is to visit the Creative Commons photos on sites such as Morguefile or Flickr. These photos do not have copyright restrictions and show Creative Common attributes, such as “share” or “non-commercial use.”  No matter which photos you use, it’s still polite and shows professionalism, to link to the original web page or give credit to/naming the photographer.
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2. Disclose paid endorsements
Bloggers and internet content writers must be open with the fact that they are being paid to use, promote, or review a product.  Do not claim to be an objective third-party when you are not.  Make it perfectly clear which information is editorial and which is advertising. This also means labeling links that drive to your Amazon affiliates, or building a page that explains all of your affiliates and relationships. Hello BookBub and others in this field!
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3. Deep linking and framing
It may surprise bloggers and internet content writers whether deep linking is even legal.  Deep linking is where you write a blog post and then link to another website in that post. However, you don’t link directly to the homepage: you link to a page buried on the site.  From the perspective of a blogger, it makes more sense to link directly to the page that you are referring to than it does to link to the home page, and then hope the reader can find the information you are referring to.
On the other hand, deep linking and framing are such accepted SEO practices that there is no reason you should worry that someone might sue you if you deep link to their site. In fact, most people encourage the practice since it brings exposure to their site.
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4. User-developed content
Comments, reviews or guest posts on your blog, you do not own the content: – the original author owns it. The best way to deal with this issue is to create very clear terms on how you will manage user-developed content. State in your site’s terms of use: you will take the liberty to do with the comments as you please, or that you will remove them if someone requests it.  You also can require a minimum amount of information so you can avoid anonymous comments or that you will delete comments if and when you close your blog. If these terms are stated clearly and openly, you shouldn’t have much of a problem when it comes to the law and user-developed content.
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5. Protect visitor’s private information
Privacy on the internet is a huge issue and people are worried that their identities will be stolen, bank accounts will be drained or that the government will watch their internet path if they don’t protect their privacy. What is your responsibility when it comes to your user’s information? Of course if you run an e-commerce site, you need to protect their information with secure pages. But what if you are simply collecting an email address?  Have a clear privacy policy on your website. It could be as simple as “We promise never to rent, sell or share your email address.” Or it could be more elaborate, with an entire page dedicated to it, depending on how much information you collect.

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However what should you do when someone steals YOUR internet content?
If you are creating compelling content, someone might take it and uses it on their site. Sometimes they do it without knowing that they are breaking the law. They may even give you credit and link to your website. If you want to protect your work, send them an email and let them know that what they are doing is copyright infringement. If you are dealing with a reasonable person, they will probably apologize and take your content down.  If you’re dealing with somebody who does not comply, you might consider pursuing legal action which might be difficult and expensive – if you did not register the copyright for your content.
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Register and you will receive compensation for legal costs etc.
How can you protect yourself from plagiarism?  Invest $35 in your book and obtain a registered copyright. You will then be able to command a higher claim from a thief of your content/images: you can collect “Statutory Damages”  plus all your Attorney fees.
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You can usually discourage people from taking your content by putting a copyright symbol on the footer of your website so it appears on every page, also your work is protected by copyright law the moment you publish it. Even if you don’t have a copyright symbol, you are still protected.
On the other hand: some authors consider the value of spreading their work through copying to be worth more than protecting and defending their rights.
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Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons

http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2011/06/13/the-10-rules-of-us-copyright-infringement/

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus71-ftcs-revised-endorsement-guideswhat-people-are-asking

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter6/6-c.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_aspects_of_hyperlinking_and_framing

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/copyright/copyrightarticle/hypertextlinking

http://cde.athabascau.ca/online_book/ch9.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_privacy

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/what-every-writer-needs-to-know-about-copyright/

http://baneromics.blogspot.ca/2010/06/user-created-content-wins.html

http://ucc-usa.org/what-is-user-created-content/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/re-blogging-vs-copyright-infringement/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/outsmart-thieves-of-your-content-part-1/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/outsmart-thieves-of-your-content-part-2/

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 815 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

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Outsmart Thieves of Your Content – Part 2

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Caution-Slippery

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Does your book / website / blog contain your own images?

Photographer Jeremy Nicholl wrote a great blog post about his own experiences with copyright infringement and created a 10 point plan to follow.  Anyone can register written words or images at the US Copyright office, and does not need to live in the States.

Jeremy lives in Moskau, Russia, but thank goodness registered his images in the USA – and it paid handsomely for him. He advises: “Register your images at the US Copyright Office. The country may be a Berne signatory, but in practice the USA has a dual copyright system: major protection and zero protection. Unregistered images get the latter: lacking the option for punitive damages and legal expenses it’s financially impractical to chase infringers, and they know it!  Registered images carry the potential for $150,000 compensation per infringement plus legal costs: so what’s to think about?”

“Your small-time infringer may be a bigger player than you think. At a casual glance my infringer was a cuddly-looking blog: indeed its sister site was once caught heisting an image from Flickr, and when the owner complained people told him “lighten up, it’s just a blog”. But a few seconds research revealed that both sites are owned by one of the world’s largest media companies, which bought my infringer’s site a few years ago. The price? Ten million dollars. And that for a site so cheap that I caught it swiping images from iStock rather than pay the $1 asking price.”   Read his great blog post (and some very useful comments) on his site jeremynicholl.com
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Photographers no longer need to heavily blemish their work out of fear of theft on the internet. The technology exists to find commercial infringements. Two website tools will help you – for free:

Google Images
You can find a preexisting copy of your image. Just select “Similar Images” to find other copies that may exist.

Tineye 
It is also a handy tool but if shows more international websites/blogs, rather than commercial US infringements through their software.

It is very important to have at least one noticeable watermark on the image. Add a “© and your photographer name” in font size 10 in the lower right or left corner, which is non-invasive but still states clearly the copyright.
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Claims in US Courts:
Sure, your manuscript has copyright from the moment you put “pen to paper.” However, if you did not register your copyright officially – or after the infringement happened – you can only sue for “Actual Damages” – not so easy to demonstrate! Invest $35 in your book or photograph and obtain a registered copyright. You will then be able to command a higher claim from an infringer: you can collect “Statutory Damages” plus all your Attorney fees:

  • If you have registered your work before infringement, you can collect Statutory Damages plus attorney fees.
  • If you registered after infringement, but before filing suit, you can only sue for Actual Damages – which you have to demonstrate.
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Necessary Content of Copyright Notices in Your Book:

  • The symbol © or the word “Copyright”
  • The year of first publication of the work
  • The name of the owner or creator

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Where to Register?

Canada:
online to the Copyright Office, Canadian Intellectual Property Office
(fee Can $50)
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USA:
online to the U.S. Copyright Office,
via the Library of Congress (fee US $ 35)
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United Kingdom:
online UK Copyright Service
(online registration are £39.00 for 5 years or £64.00 for 10 years per work/package)
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An attorney is not necessary at all to register your manuscript. You can register on-line (which is cheaper) or by snail mail. Copyright registrations become effective the day on which application and payment are received at the office, but it may take months until you receive the certificate.
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Infringers might use “fair use” to their defense.

Are you familiar with the term fair use? Just because they provide attribution and/or a link back to the original doesn’t mean they are free and clear. Fair use has nothing to do with attribution.

A good example of fair use of an image to use online is product reviews. If you want to review a book, a new piece of technology, a food product or whatever widget, you will likely want to include a photo. Other reasons (e.g. for written content) could be for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.
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Fair use means one is allowed to infringe on someone’s copyright and you can’t do anything about it. If their use is covered by fair use, they even don’t have to provide attribution (although it would be nice). The question is:

  • Why are they using the image/text?
  • Did they transform the image/text?
  • Use for commercial or non-profit purposes?
  • How much of the image/text are they using?
  • Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

Read more about fair use at the SocialMediaExaminer
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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 810 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

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http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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What You CANNOT Do on Facebook

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Stop-Sign

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Has your Facebook account ever been suspended?  Well mine is – since February, after only being there for five months:  I was offered by Facebook a whole bunch of people to choose friends from. Oh, nice, I thought, and selected everyone who looked friendly. Only days later I received an email, that my account is suspended for a month as FB’s rules were broken:  you can only choose friends you know personally.  But hey, why on earth did they contact me in the first place, and offered me to choose “friends” ???

Since then, every time I log in, they prompt me to identify people from a photo album, which often consists of cats, vacation scenes, jewelry and yes, also people at parties or riding on a bike. “Sorry Facebook, but I have no clue who’s cat that is, and I am not able to remember everyone’s name.  Actually I am very bad with names.”  As I am totally happy at Google+ (which is also much easier to use) and Twitter and Goodreads, I don’t need Facebook really, never liked it, did not spend much time there – and now I finally gave up this silly photo-game…   So sorry guys, but when YOU invited me to be your friend on Facebook, I don’t even get your invitation. And please don’t ask me anymore to “like” you on Facebook.

Now I learned that Facebook suspends and punishes even big corporations for minor flaws. Read a great blog by marketing guru Anna Gervai:

Did you hear about Velvet Burger? They are one of the most recent companies to have their Facebook page deleted for breaking the rules. They waved ‘bye bye’ to almost 10,000 fans in the process.  You may have also heard that Hell Pizza went the same way – losing their page and 20,000 fans along with it. Hell managed to get their page back through someone-who-knew-someone who worked at Facebook, but sadly – in most cases – if this happens to you, you’ll be starting from scratch.
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When you created your Facebook page for your business you ticked a box saying you have read and agree to the terms and conditions. I know, I know, of course you didn’t actually read them (and I don’t blame you, there are pages and pages to read) but ignorance is definitely not bliss. As Facebook says “We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason.” And they’re not kidding. Don’t think you’ll get a warning either! Poof! One day it could just be gone.
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The bad news is claiming you didn’t know you were breaking the rules won’t cause Facebook to reverse your page deletion decision. The good news? With a little learning you can prevent the next victim being your page.
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There are Facebook rules that page admins break on a daily basis, so included in the list of what you CANNOT do that follows below are no doubt many you’ve been guilty of. Even if you’ve been playing by the rules, you might read them and think “But everyone does that! Why can’t I?”.  To paraphrase mothers around the world “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”. Kidding aside, it really isn’t worth flouting the rules.
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So here’s my list of the most commonly broken Facebook rules you simply cannot do with your page. Pay attention, so your page is not the next in line for the chopping block!
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Promotion Rules
Here’s where you’re going to feel guilty as these are broken all the time. It’s these rules that caused Velvet Burger to lose their page (and their 9,500+ fans along with it).

You CANNOT…

  • Run any sort of promotion, competition, sweepstakes etc on your Facebook page using Facebook’s features and functionality – ie: make sure you use an app or ‘custom page’ and not ‘like this update’ / ‘share this photo’ / ‘upload your photo to our page’ / ‘add a comment’ (and so on) to enter (a more complete list follows below).
  • Hold Facebook responsible: So you must include a disclaimer that releases Facebook of any responsibility – eg: You’ve got to mention something along the lines of “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook”. This is best put on the page/s of your app and in your terms and conditions on your website.  Following on from above, you must also disclose who the entrant is giving their information to. The usual wording is “Participants are providing information to [your company name and the name of any other companies who see entrants information] and not to Facebook.”
  • Use any Facebook features or functionality as part of the promotion or participation other than liking your page, checking in or connecting to your app.
  • Use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism – ie: the act of liking your page or checking in cannot automatically register or enter the person in your promotion. Basically a condition of entry can be to like your page but the fan must then complete their entry on your Facebook app or custom page.
  • Use the Like button as a way of voting (eg: most likes wins is not okay). Any other Facebook feature or functionality cannot be used for voting either (eg: The person who invites the most new fans wins …)
  • Notify winners through Facebook – ie: don’t use Facebook message, chat or posting on the winner’s page, your page or another company’s page to notify winners.
  • These rules apply when promoting your promotion as well! So when you advertise (eg: Facebook ads) or reference a promotion (eg: in a Wall post) you need to follow the rules..

Wall Promotions:   These types of promotions are therefore NOT OK (often called Wall Promotions) because you’re using Facebook features and functionality to run the PROMOTION. Don’t do this:

  • Share this [update / photo / video etc] to be in to win…
  • Upload a photo / video …
  • Every 25th new fan wins…
  • Add a comment …
  • Invite your friends to like our page …
  • Answer this question …
  • Photo with the most likes wins …
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Data collection
Whether promotional or not, whenever you collect content or information from a Facebook user, you have to make it clear that you (and not Facebook) are collecting it.
You’ll need to notify Facebook users and obtain their consent plus tell them (or link to your website privacy policy or terms and conditions page) how their information will be used by you.
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Your Page Name
Your page name and your Facebook username must reflect / match your company name.
So if your company sells milk called Moo Juice then your page name should be ‘Moo Juice’ or ‘Moo Juice Milk’ but not ‘Milk’ as you can’t call your page a generic term – eg: ‘Beer’ or ‘Pizza’.
Your page name cannot be entirely in capitals unless your organisation’s name is an acronym. So the Bank of New Zealand can call their page BNZ but just because your logo has your name all in capitals, if it’s not an acronym, your page name cannot be all caps.  You also CANNOT use character symbols, such as bullet points or excessive punctuation or trademark symbols, in your page name.
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New Cover Photo Rules
Want to read Facebook’s new cover photo rules for yourself? And here are some examples of cover photos from brands breaking the new rules.
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Facebook Ads
Before you run Facebook Ads, have a careful read through the Facebook Advertising Guidelines. There are so many that it deserves it’s own article so for now you’ll have to do your own homework ;)
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DISCLAIMER
Do not use this article to decide if what you’re doing is or is not okay! Other than the fact that I haven’t made a complete list of ALL the rules, Facebook updates the rules all the time! You’ll need to do your own research or check it past your Facebook Rep or agency to be sure. You can get started here:

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Given how often these rules are broken and the fact the Facebook’s terms and conditions sprawl over multiple pages; I hope you’ve learned a lot. Please consider liking or sharing this article with your network to help other business owners, marketers and page admins avoid falling into the page deletion trap! Just pick one of the sharing options at the top of my web page or below, thank you in advance :)

About Anna GervaiGet the latest Marketing Gum articles about Facebook and social media first and free, subscribe by email here for free updates

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Among countless other great articles, Anna wrote one you shouldn’t miss:

Why only 1 in 6 fans see your Facebook page updates & how to fix it + what is Edgerank? – See more at: http://www.marketinggum.com/author/anna/#sthash.7CHs6cUW.dpuf

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/   Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 790 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

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Are You Sure You Know Your Rights As Author?

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Racoon

Smart Racoon

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If you are serious about being a writer, you need to know a bit about the business. Let’s start with your rights as an author and how to read a publishing contract, in case you are not an author-publisher, keeping ALL your rights.

Anne Rooney summed it nicely up: “Publishing is a business and no matter how friendly and reassuring your editor, they want to make as much money out of the deal as they can. If “it’s just the standard contract” you say that’s fine as a starting point, but now you are going to make it suitable to you and your book. If they say “no one has ever objected before” that means either they are lying or no one ever has read the contract properly and taken a professional approach.”
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As an author you own the copyright, and you own all the rights to your work. You can sell – or give away these rights or use in several ways:
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First Serial Rights
They can be print or electronic and mean you are selling a publisher the right to publish your article once for the first time. In the case of print rights you are free to immediately sell the piece to an e-magazine or e-zine before print publication and, after the print magazine containing your article hits the newsstand, you are free to sell it again as a reprint to other print markets.

First Serial Rights Electronic
However, first serial electronic rights are different – for sample e-magazines or e-zines buy first rights for an exclusive time period, usually one year (often for the laughable amount of $5 or $10), and at the same time, ask for non-exclusive rights after that. While you can immediately sell the same piece to a print market as a “first print right,” you cannot even post the article on your own website until the year is up. After that you are free to sell the article to other electronic markets as a reprint and post it yourself online everywhere you want.

North American first serial rights
Most Canadian and US freelance authors sell North American first serial rights, reserving the right to sell in other world markets  (e.g. Great Britain, Australia, Asia). Specify what type of rights you are selling: First North American Electronic Rights Only.

Second Serial Rights
These are reprint rights and apply to print and electronic markets. Never sell reprint rights, keep them at all costs. Even you will earn less money for each reprint, you can sell your work over and over again.

Subsidiary Rights
Other rights that authors and freelancers hold are subsidiary rights, including, but not limited to movie rights, dramatic, TV and radio rights, audio and other media rights.

Digital Rights
However, don’t give up or sell your electronic rights to a traditional book publisher without receiving a large lump sum or at least 50% royalty from the retail price. Most publishing houses are not really experts in e-publishing and often don’t use the electronic rights to your book. But it would prevent you from e-publishing your own work or selling it to a high-royalty-paying e-publisher.

All Rights
In this case the author gives up all future income from the article or book and only retains the copyright. Giving up all your rights should be only considered if a tremendous sum is paid for.

Copyright Protection in the USA and Canada
Copyright protection in Canada is automatic upon the creation of a given work, regardless of the medium of its creation, and it lasts until fifty years after the creator’s death – in the USA seventy years.

Before You Sign Any Contracts:
Always first contact your national authors’ or writers’ associations for further information and get legal advice from a lawyer who is specialized in copyright. This can save you ten thousands of dollars.

Sources:

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/
http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/ccl/aboutCopyright.html
http://www.stroppyauthor.com/2010/07/how-to-read-publishing-contract-part-15.html
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/how-to-sell-foreign-book-rights/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/part-2-great-opportunity-for-authors-foreign-right-sales/
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/
http://www.writing-world.com/links/rights.html
http://www.cipo.gc.ca
http://www.writersunion.ca

 

If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 785 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

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What Every Writer Needs to Know About Copyright

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Justitia- Copyright

Justitia Copyright

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It is not required for an author to register your work or even provide a notice. But… there are reasons to protect yourself and what you created.  Copyright means the sole right to produce or reproduce a work in any form. And in most countries, a work – such as literature, music or software – is automatically protected as soon as it is created. Excluded are ideas, titles, names, facts and short phrases.
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On the other side: proving your claim can be a very difficult matter without proper evidence. Often it boils down to a case of “their word against yours”. Without proper protection, work that you have created, could end up making money for someone else.
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Whenever you write something on paper or typed on a computer, it is copyrighted and protected under U.S. copyright law.  If someone steals your work and presents it as his own, the burden of proof falls on you to show that you created it first and that you own the copyright – which can be difficult.  For better protection, consider to officially register your work for approx. $45 per manuscript with the US Copyright Office.  So, if anyone steals your manuscript, you will not only have proof of copyright ownership, but  you are also able to sue for Statutory Damages and attorney fees.
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Claims in US Courts:

  • If you have registered your work before infringement, you can collect Statutory Damages plus attorney fees.
  • If you registered after infringement, but before filing suit, you can only sue for Actual Damages – which you have to demonstrate.
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Necessary Content of Copyright Notices in Your Book:

  • The symbol © or the word “Copyright”
  • The year of first publication of the work
  • The name of the owner or creator
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Where to  Register?

Canada:
online to the Copyright Office, Canadian Intellectual Property Office Web site
http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca (fee Can $50)

USA:
online to the U.S. Copyright Office, via the Library of Congress
http://www.copyright.gov (fee US $ 35)

United Kingdom:
online UK Copyright Service
http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk (online registration are £39.00 for 5 years or £64.00 for 10 years per work.)
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An attorney is not necessary at all, to register your manuscript. You can register on-line (which is cheaper) or by snail mail. Copyright registrations become effective the day on which application and payment are received at the office, but it may take months until you receive the certificate. 

Being on the Copyright Register also helps with finding you as the owner when permission to use a work is sought.  This can be very lucrative for the owner of registered copyright because they can easily be found to license their work and can charge fees/royalties for its use.  Even for succession planning it is very important to have copyright registered, as it provides the owner with an easily transferable and valuable asset.
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Check out this blog post, which gives lots of tips what to do in case copyright infringements happen.  The blogger talks about a photograph, that was unlawfully used, but for your blogs or books, the steps are the same:
http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2011/06/13/the-10-rules-of-us-copyright-infringement/

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More regulatory sources for USA, Canada and the UK:
Copyright Portal
Canadian Guide to Copyright
UK Copyright Law

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 780+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in All things Legal

 

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