Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Author Biz

Gambler's Lady/Classic Romance

Yesterday was spent on Writer Business, all day. I longed to return to my current hero, truly one of the best I've written. I just love him. But, sigh....

Writing for publication is a business, an industry and sometimes writers have to tear themselves away from their stories to deal with business at hand. We (or someone we pay) deal with copyrights, ISBNs, Royalty Free Stock Photos, technical software, agents, editors, spreadsheets, taxes, etc.

Many writers are now securing their rights. In negotiating publishing contracts, Rights Reversion clauses are so important. Writers are taking those reverted rights straight to e-publishing and gathering new readers in a new medium. Or they may wish to paper/traditional publish. But author rights are their bread and butter, and the stories are frankly part of their individual hearts.

As a long-term professional, I am concerned about the following, and sought permission from Authors Guild for this reprint. Please read carefully:

By Permission, Authors Guild:
 Authors Guild v. HathiTrust. Last month, the Guild moved for summary judgment in its lawsuit against online digital repository HathiTrust, its overseer, the University of Michigan, and four other universities assisting in the unauthorized reproduction of copyright-protected books for the archive. The case was sparked last year when the University of Michigan announced plans to allow students and faculty unlimited downloads of so-called "orphaned" books, out-of-print books whose copyright holders were considered unfindable by the university. The Guild challenged the legality of the university's program (Congress has considered, but never enacted, orphan works legislation), and it quickly found copyright holders for many of the "orphan" titles. The Guild and writers' organizations from Australia, Canada, and Europe, along with several individual writers, came together to sue HathiTrust and the universities.

Unfindable. Now there's a word. With a few taps of a keyboard, almost anyone, anything can be found. Unfindable. Hmm.... Who's looking and how hard?

Big term, Orphaned WorksThe other day, I was at a favorite Thrift Shop and saw a big box of novels, marked $2.00. That was for the whole box. They were old, and the authors could have died, but their heirs might be alive and needing income. What if those books were declared Orphaned Works? Don't cut out the heirs.

Keep in mind that writers for publication want to earn a paycheck. They can't do that if their work is given for free. Or pirated.

Remember Gambler's Lady, the Romance Classic at the top of this post? It was my second book Ever. And now it is re-covered and epublished by me, one Cait London. I can do that, because Berkley reverted the rights to my real name.

(You can read more about Gambler's Lady here.)

On that Note: Authors, it is critical to assign an executor for your Intellectual Rights.

Something to think about, huh?

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