Category : Page Publishing Articles

What is copyright protection?

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States and extended to the authors of “original works of authorship”. While this applies to many forms of authorship (literary, dramatic, musical, photographic, etc.) it is only the protection of literary works which we are concerned with here in the book publishing world. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works and it generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the work in copies (i.e. print a book), prepare derivative works based upon the work (in other words make a screenplay from a book), distribute copies of the work to the public by sale (i.e. sell copies of the book), and perform the work publicly (i.e. turn a book into a theatrical performance).

How do I obtain copyright protection for my book?

Contrary to common belief, there are no steps needed to obtain copyright protection for a book. The book need not be registered or published. Copyright protection for a book attaches automatically when the work is “created”. A book is created when the book is written with paper and pen, or typed into a computer or other device – anything that “fixes” the work in a “copy” that may be “visually perceived”. Thus, just having the idea for a book in your head is not enough to secure copyright protection – the concept for the book must actually be fixed in a copy.

Should I apply for copyright registration of my book?

As mentioned above, copyright registration is not required in order to secure copyright protection for a book or other written work. It is highly recommended, however, that all authors do indeed take steps to register their written works with the Library of Congress via the filing of a formal copyright registration application, in that the benefits of formal registration are many. In the first place, registration establishes a formal public record of ownership of the written work by the author. Additionally, if registration is made within five years of publication of the work (indeed, it is the opinion of Page Publishing that registration should always be made commensurate with publication of the book), it serves as prima facie evidence in court that the registration and facts contained therein are valid. It should also be noted that registration is a necessary condition precedent to the filing of a copyright infringement action. Also significant is the facts that registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies. Thus, if a counterfeiter in China were to illegally produce infringing copies of your work, the U.S. Customs Service would seize and destroy any such illegal copies.

Should I place the copyright notice “©” on my book?

Use of the notice is important because it informs the public that the work is protected by copyright, and it identifies you as the rightful the copyright owner. Also, placement of a proper notice of copyright on your book would invalidate any claims by an infringer that he “innocently” infringed the work if it can be proved that the infringer had access to the work with the copyright notice placed upon it.

What is the length of copyright protection?

Your book is automatically protected from the moment of its creation, whether you register it or not. That protection lasts for the author’s life plus an additional 70 years after the author’s death. This means that upon your death, your heirs/estate can continue to own the rights to your work for an additional 70 years.

Do You Need an ISBN? What about a barcode?

Many authors confuse an ISBN number with a barcode. An ISBN number is required (although you may not need to purchase one as discussed below). However, a barcode is only required if you are distributing a physical or printed copy of your title.

An ISBN is a unique identifier assigned to your book that ensures that people ordering your book are receiving the intended publication. Part of the number signifies the publisher, while the rest is associated with that particular title, author and version.

A barcode does essentially the same thing (uniquely identifies your book) but in such a way that retailers can enter the code into their proprietary databases. This allows checkout scanners to properly associate a price with the book and gives merchants an efficient method to track their inventory.

So the simple answer to whether you need an ISBN – yes. The question should be where and in what formats do you want to make your title available? You will need a barcode (excluding ebooks) and an ISBN number for each distinct publication.

How is a book “converted” to an ebook?

Many new authors are allured by the apparent ease of self-publishing their book in electronic format on Amazon.com or iTunes. As such, one of their first topics of research is how to convert their work into an eBook. While we certainly do not discourage the self-publishing route, we can tell you that the conversion process is not as easy as clicking “File -> Save as” from your favorite word processing software.

There are a number of software programs that are making this process more intuitive, but there are some key problems that still remain. One such issue is that none of the online marketplaces can agree on a single and consistent file format. So to sell your book on more than one distribution channel, you are forced to reformat your book again, and again, and again! This is frustrating and, unfortunately, a problem that will be a thorn in every author’s side for the foreseeable future. With each major book seller having their own device and associated file format, no one standard will be victorious.

Top 5 eReader Devices

2013 ereaders

Digital books are becoming increasingly popular, and e-Readers are at the top of many Christmas lists this year. So what should you be looking for in an e-Reader? I’ve checked out the top brands to see how they stack up.

1. Kindle Fire HD

If you’re after an e-Reader that has access to Amazon’s extensive library of downloadable digital books, then look no further. The Kindle device is easy to use and manage, allowing you to make notes and bookmark pages and quotes, making it ideal for students. Not only does the Kindle Fire HD come in stunning high definition color offering fantastic picture quality, it provides all the benefits of a tablet computer, allowing you to play games and watch movies when you don’t fancy settling down with a good book.

2. Nook HD

The Nook HD makes for an ideal family e-Reader as it comes with the ability to create separate accounts for each family member. More than three million books are available for purchase from Barnes & Noble, ensuring you’ll never be at a loss for new material to sink your teeth into. It provides up to 10 hours of reading from a single charge.

3. Kobo Glo Wireless

The Kobo encourages you to read by including a rewards program when you reach several benchmarks. The E-ink display isn’t to everyone’s taste and is targeted at people looking for the feel of an authentic book. Less technologically advanced than some of its competitors, it lacks 3G capabilities, but this is reflected in the price. If you’re looking for a no frills e-Reader, this could be just the ticket.

4. iPad Mini

The iPad mini offers the largest selection of books of any e-Reader as well as an extensive choice of magazines and newspapers. The only downside is its glossy screen that makes it hard to read in direct sunlight. The device comes with access to the 270,000 apps you’d expect from an iPad, and in reality the e-reading function is only one of its many benefits. You can send emails, watch the latest films, and even use the satellite navigation feature for route planning. The iPad mini is much more than an e-Reader, and that is revealed in the price – overall a great choice if money is no object.

5. Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite might not come with the mod cons of some other devices, but for an authentic feeling of reading words straight from paper you can’t beat it. The screen is ideal for inside or outdoor use as it’s designed to eliminate glare, and the extensive battery life makes it ideal for taking it away on vacation. Although it doesn’t have the benefits of audio or a detachable memory device, if you’re only interested in the pleasure of a good read, then the Paperwhite might be just what you’re after

How Facebook Works For Authors

The power of social media is undeniable. Whether you’re a business, celebrity, or individual looking to gain a foothold in your career, you need to make sure that your brand is visible. This post will examine how writers can use social media for self-promotion and its importance in the literary world. We’ll be looking at a few choice examples and offering actionable tips on how the average writer can harness this relatively new medium to their advantage.

Facebook and Twitter have taken over the world; today, everyone and their mother owns a smartphone, guaranteeing fast access to the internet and social media through the use of apps that come pre-installed. Authors are thought of as people who have their noses stuck to the grindstone, hard at work trying to pen something meaningful and groundbreaking. Most wouldn’t even think of mixing with the ‘unwashed masses’ on social media, given the fact that writers are more concerned with focusing on producing a great piece of literature. This has changed, and prominent authors are stepping into the social media limelight.

For instance, Booker Prize winning author Michael Ondaatje’s page was abuzz with information on his new book The Cat’s Table, weeks before his nomination. This is one author who is not afraid to get into the mix of things; he is known for actively interacting with his fans on a personal level, taking the time to answer questions posed by enthusiastic and loyal fans. If a Booker Prize nominee can do this, it follows that any author that seeks elevation and a boost to his book sales should follow in this writer’s footsteps. Through the use of a fan page, timely interaction will ensure that readers are kept engaged in the creative process, fostering a sense of community and book-club feeling, which will eventually boost a writer’s profile in social media.

Facebook isn’t just a spam dump. If you visit a famous artist’s page today (say Michael Jackson or Britney Spears), you’ll probably be bombarded by hundreds of spam comments on the walls of these celebrities. It’s hard to find something meaningful on these walls; in the same way gems aren’t found easily. However, Facebook helps when it comes to marketing products. In fact, one exciting aspect of this social media site is the fact that one can set up a virtual shop to sell products, such as eBooks. Facebook charges an individual a small fee to come up with a shopping service, complete with a secure checkout service that allows fans to buy these products. A great way of making this work would be to create a page that has shopping capabilities so that if a fan were ever to want to buy a book from an author, they would be offered the convenience of shopping without leaving the comfort of Facebook, and at the same time interacting with other literary enthusiasts, friends, and family.

Facebook interaction presents another interesting aspect that seeks to find out what readers really want. For instance, if a reader liked a page you created for one of your upcoming books, you’d be able to get a rare insight as to what this reader likes thanks to data offered by Facebook in terms of what this individual likes, their hobbies, and activities. This is information that is easily available to marketers who are able to examine the information contained in the profiles of fans. They can then create targeted posts that mirror what the readers prefer by examining data and creating a campaign that will produce a positive result and increase the likelihood of fans buying a particular book. Page post-targeting by age, gender, and likes is now available for marketers, which essentially is done to influence reader behavior.

Facebook allows a writer to establish a ‘base camp’ of sorts, where they will be able to post interesting tidbits on future projects. Additionally, this is a great place to share pages from your blogs and encourage a conversation that will grow exponentially. The premise of social media lies in the fact that people will share information in social circles, making concepts reach a larger audience in a short time. Repetition and broadcasting allow your fans to act as carriers who will influence their friends and market your work on your behalf, setting off a chain reaction that may even turn viral, leading to overnight success in some cases.

Social media is a good place to make that connection with your fan base from an authentic standpoint. For example, you could post a photo every second day that chronicles your creative journey as you pen your next book. Readers are said to have a photographic memory, and what better way to butter them up than giving them images that show them the behind-the-scenes on what it takes to come up with a great book. The video diary phenomenon is also available on Facebook, allowing you to come up with vlogs on a fortnightly basis, where you get to answer reader questions. At the end of the day, readers want to know the human being behind the books and will respond more positively to an author who is open and authentic and makes them feel that their input is appreciated.

Social media is a great place to build a name and market your books to a target demographic in a convenient and fast way, which eventually translates to increased book sales and name recognition on a wider level.