Archive for the ‘Writer Beware’ Category

Rights and Copyright

Copyright, literally, is “the right to copy.” It guarantees the authors of creative works–including books, artworks, films, recordings, photographs–the exclusive right for a set period of time to allow other people to copy and distribute the work, by whatever means and in whatever media currently exist. It also prohibits copying and distributing without the author’s permission. You own copyright by law, automatically, as soon your work is fixed in tangible form–i.e., the minute you write down the words.

Author Mills and a Request for Contact

Unlike commercial or trade publishers, whose business model is based on book volume (selling as many books as possible from a limited number of authors), author mills’ business model is based on author volume (selling a limited number of books from as many authors as possible). The most famous example of an author mill is PublishAmerica, but there are others, such as VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller, an academic author mill.

Thoughts on Self-Promotion

As I close in on the end of my current writing project, the issue of self-promotion is much on my mind. I don’t mind admitting that it’s a prospect I contemplate with dread. I’m one of those I-just-want-to-sit-in-my-room-with-my-laptop writers who really is not constitutionally suited for a world in which the definition of “author” also includes “huckster” (or, if you want to be a bit more diplomatic about it, “entrepreneur”).

Victoria Strauss — The Perils of Searching For Publishers on the Internet

Imagine you’re a new writer. You’ve just completed your first manuscript, and are on fire to get it published. You don’t know a lot about the publishing world, or how to identify a good publisher for your book–but that’s okay. You have the Internet. So you open a search engine–Google, let’s say–and type “publishers” into […]

Victoria Strauss — Google Book Search Settlement Fairness Hearing Adjourned

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department’s anti-trust division urged the court to reject the Google Book Search Settlement, citing “concerns of the United States regarding class action, copyright and antitrust law.” (The full text of the DOJ’s brief can be seen here.) However, it urged the parties to continue discussion, since “a properly structured settlement agreement in this case offers the potential for important societal benefits, [and] the United States does not want the opportunity or momentum to be lost.”