Recently Answered Questions:



Q –

Angela,

I’m helping a friend assemble a baseball book and he wants to include photos of Topps Baseball cards and note that they are “From the collection of…..” Is this legal under copyright laws?

Thank you


A –

Hi George,

Baseball cards receive the same copyright protection as other creative works.

Please see:

When Do Trading Cards Enter the Public Domain?

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles



90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY


Angela Hoy's popular online class is now available in book format!


Remember Your Past
Write It and Publish It
in as little as 12 weeks!



Angela Hoy's book will get you started!



  • Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years
  • Record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook
  • Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography!
  • Also works for biographies and memoirs!

Read more here:
http://booklocker.com/books/4764.html





 

Q –

Dear Ask the Expert,

A person asked me to review his self-copyrighted 30-page synopsis of a book he wanted to publish and wanted me make it book form. I agreed and offered to develop the first three chapters to see how he liked my approach and style at no cost. He disagreed on my approach. We said our goodbyes and that was it.

I recently retrieved my dusty copy of the original synopsis and first chapters I produced and decided I wanted to continue to make it into book. I have tried to contact the originator by letter and email with an offer to purchase his rights. I received no response to numerous attempts to contact him.

I have developed the text to more than 16,000 words with new and significant changes to the original synopsis. I plan to have at least 50,000+ words upon completion. I have changed most of the original content like locations, names, events, etc. I do not know if he is dead or living the good life on a sunny beach somewhere.

Can I proceed with the book’s completion without fear of copyright infringement?


A –

I’m surprised you went to that much trouble without first obtaining permission from the copyright holder. If you can’t find him, he can’t give you permission so you can’t use it.

If you do, yes, he or his heirs can sue you for copyright infringement.

Authors must come up with their own ideas. Trying to piggyback on someone else’s idea is not only only a violation of copyright laws, it’s just plain wrong.

REMINDER: The WritersWeekly.com Spring, 2021 24-Hour Short Story Contest is ONLY 9 DAYS AWAY!

See the link below for all past topics and winning stories. Only 500 participants are allowed per contest so don’t delay if you wanna play!

WE CAN’T *WAIT* TO SEE WHERE YOUR IMAGINATION TAKES US!

1st Place $300 + a Book Publishing Package from BookLocker.com! (Value: $875)

2nd Place: $250

3rd Place: $200

+ 80 other prizes!

We’d LOVE to have you join us!! 🙂

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles







BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED! Real Book Proposals That Landed $10K - $100K Publishing Contracts - by Angela Hoy



Peek over the shoulders of highly successful, published authors to see how they landed publishing contracts worth $10,000 to $100,000! An enticing yet professional book proposal is the key!

BONUS! Successful ghostwriter, Anton Marco, shares his secret for landing ghostwriting clients. Don’t miss Anton’s real ghostwriting contract at the end of this book! It provides an example of what he charges and the payment terms he requires from each client.

The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing


Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.



The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.





Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/6712.html



Q –

Angela,

Another author published a book in 2015 that has the exactly same title as my book, which was published in 2010. Both books are love stories about interracial couples but the synopses are different.

Can I sue that author?

Can another author use the exact same title as another book that’s already for sale?


A –

Book titles can’t be copyrighted. In fact, there are thousands of books on Amazon that have titles identical to other books on Amazon.

There are also numerous books (likely thousands) on Amazon about interracial couples.

Please see:

Think Someone Copied Your Book? You Might Be Wrong… – by Harvey Randall, Esq.

And:

Help! My Book Title Has Already Been Used!

Where you can get into trouble is if you include a trademarked term in your book’s title. You can search registered trademarks in the U.S. RIGHT HERE.

RELATED

Q –

Hi Angela!

I’m sure you’re super busy with your move to Georgia right now, but just in case you get a minute, I have a quick question for you … I received an email from [name removed] on March 19th, offering to “help authors connect their books to major book publishers.” They included the title of my book, and said it fit with what they were looking for.

I self-published my book back in 2006, and republished it in 2009 (like, almost 12 years ago!).

Because I hear so many horror stories about companies like this agency scamming authors (and yes, they approached me first!), I’m extremely hesitant to reply to this woman. She gave a phone number and a website. She asked if I wanted to schedule a phone call to have a discussion about their services. She never mentioned a cost or a fee. I couldn’t find the company listed anywhere online.

So, I thought I would check with you to see if you’ve ever heard of this agency or this woman and if they are legit or not.

Thanks, Angela, and I look forward to hearing from you!


A –

Your suspicions are very much warranted.

Real literary agents don’t go looking for old books to sell to traditional publishers. Their slush piles are far too deep. This outfit was going to try to reel you in, and then promise you the moon and the stars (to make YOU a “star!”)…for only a few thousand dollars, or more.

Run away from that outfit. FAST.

RELATED

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The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession


Want to Recession-Proof Your Freelance Business?



Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients—from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions.



Whether this is your first recession or you’ve been through this before, discover how to:

  • Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
  • Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
  • Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
  • Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
  • Create marketing that will attract those clients
  • Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer


Free Bonus Content
Also get dozens of checklists, templates, and other tools to help you recession-proof your freelance business, including:

  • Simple Strategic Plan for Surviving the Recession
  • The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers
  • Awesome Freelance Website Template

How Many Copies Of Your Book Would You Have To Sell In Order To Break Even?








Q –

Hi Angela,

I currently have an illustrator designing illustrations for my newest book which is a children’s poem/story. Do the illustrations have to be in a specific format for publishing? He is a fantastic artist! Fees will run me $90/hour so I want to get it right the first time.

Thanks! 


A –

This is an excellent question! I can’t count how many times I have received illustrations for a book that can’t be used in the book.

First, if the illustrations are being done manually, they need to be on the absolutely whitest paper so there won’t be any shadows in the background when they are scanned. The paper must also be completely flat because wrinkles will show up in the scan as well. Erasure marks will also show up. For all of these reasons, digital illustrations are often preferred. Also, the scans must be at 300 dpi.

Second, they need to be the correct size for the book size you are publishing, with some bleed (I recommend 1/4″ all the way around). Don’t have anything important in the bleed area. For example, if the character is holding out his/her hand, and if you don’t want fingers getting sliced off during the trimming process, don’t have that hand anywhere near the bleed. Just include the background of the image in the bleed.

Third, if digital, the illustrations need to be created at 300 dpi. Most publishers will require they be in CMYK. Your illustrator will know what that means. If they don’t, use a different illustrator.

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

Fall 2020 24 Hour Short Story Contest








The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession


Want to Recession-Proof Your Freelance Business?



Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients—from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions.



Whether this is your first recession or you’ve been through this before, discover how to:

  • Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
  • Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
  • Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
  • Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
  • Create marketing that will attract those clients
  • Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer


Free Bonus Content
Also get dozens of checklists, templates, and other tools to help you recession-proof your freelance business, including:

  • Simple Strategic Plan for Surviving the Recession
  • The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers
  • Awesome Freelance Website Template





Q –

Hi, Angela—

If Amazon can blatantly rip off a vendor’s hard-line design, what’s to stop them from hijacking an author’s book, changing the author to Andy Amazon, and selling it as their own?

Thought you’d be interested in the article.

Amazon Basics Knocks Off Peak Design’s Everyday Sling–and Even Gives It the Same Name

Best,

Rusty


A –

This firm should have trademarked their product. If they had, they could sue Amazon.

This is just one reason I recommend all authors copyright their manuscripts. If Amazon started copying books, authors and publishers could sue and the penalties for willful copyright infringement go into the hundreds of thousands…plus attorneys’ fees.

RELATED

More So-Called “Writers” Committing Copyright Infringement

Can Your Publisher Get YOU Sued For Copyright Infringement? Yep!!

The Malicious Reaction of a Resentful Copyright Infringer

Yet Another Website Lifts our Copyrighted Material

Google Ordered to Pay French Publisher $430K for Copyright Infringement

Copyright Law Basics For Fan Fiction Authors

Who Gets Your Book(s) When You Die? – Yet Another Case of Heirs Fighting Over an Author’s Copyrights

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles







90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!



Q –

Angela,

I’m not planning to make a profit on my book so I’m calling it non-profit. That means I can use the “fair use” doctrine, and include other authors’ works in my book, right?


A –

No, no, no! To be completely honest, questions like this always make me cringe. By contacting me today, you may have avoided a lawsuit, or two, or a few.

Unless you have created and registered an actual 501(c)(3) non-profit with the government, your publishing enterprise is NOT considered a “non profit.”

Please read this excellent article about fair use copyright law.

And, read this article on how to start a non-profit.

I think you will find that simply asking permission to include others’ works in your book is far easier, and cheaper, in the long run.

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles







90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession


Want to Recession-Proof Your Freelance Business?



Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients—from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions.



Whether this is your first recession or you’ve been through this before, discover how to:

  • Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
  • Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
  • Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
  • Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
  • Create marketing that will attract those clients
  • Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer


Free Bonus Content
Also get dozens of checklists, templates, and other tools to help you recession-proof your freelance business, including:

  • Simple Strategic Plan for Surviving the Recession
  • The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers
  • Awesome Freelance Website Template

Fall 2020 24 Hour Short Story Contest


Q –

Angie,

I need your advice on a proposal just sent to me by an agency, [name removed.] It’s below.

T.J.


A –

I reviewed the series of emails you sent to me. The first red flag about the emails is that the URL he provided as part of his email address is not a working website. And, while that URL is registered, it is only a year old. If the company is truly only a year old, all of the connections and experience they are touting are bogus.

I can find literally no chatter about them online. If they were an established company with successes, people would be talking about them.

The “rush-rush” of the email (gotta do it by this Saturday!!) when so much money is at stake is another red flag. And, the fact that it’s a “one time” opportunity is, to be completely honest, total B.S. I’m sure they’d take your money at any time if you chose to participate.

I did find the real website for the company. They are just another self-publishing services company. It has the same logo as the guy’s email so that’s the company. They are not a literary agency. They are not a traditional publisher. And, they are not coordinating manuscripts to show to large publishing companies.

They are simply luring in authors, and then upselling them on worthless services. The fact that they’re quoting authors $4,000 for those bogus services is terrifying.

Here’s what they were probably going to do:
1. Take your money
2. Do none of the services they offered
3. Tell you later that your book did not get picked up by a major publisher or a movie producer
4. Tell you they can republish your book for thousands more, and “make it look better” to increase your chances of landing a traditional publishing or movie deal. And, of course, you’d need to pay the $4K all over again at that time.

We are seeing increasing reports of these types of scams. I am so glad you wrote to me before sending those clowns your money!

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles



90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!





The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession


Want to Recession-Proof Your Freelance Business?



Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients—from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions.



Whether this is your first recession or you’ve been through this before, discover how to:

  • Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
  • Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
  • Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
  • Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
  • Create marketing that will attract those clients
  • Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer


Free Bonus Content
Also get dozens of checklists, templates, and other tools to help you recession-proof your freelance business, including:

  • Simple Strategic Plan for Surviving the Recession
  • The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers
  • Awesome Freelance Website Template





 

 

 

Q –

Angela,

I received an email today, a news/promo letter I subscribe to. They started up a few years ago and seem to have gained a bit of a following. They are soliciting story contributions for a third volume of a book series. Though I’m not interested in it myself, I’m wondering if you would consider this a fair, legitimate call for submissions to an anthology, or a scam? Seems like there are a lot of these anthologies that want the writers to pay to be included.

The email says it’s an incredible opportunity, mentions well-known names of other contributors, and says not to wait. And, authors must pay more than $1,000 to be included. It costs even more if the author wants his or her name on the cover.

Best regards,
K.


A –

I reviewed the entire email pitch. The over-the-top, ridiculous, vanity-feeding marketing verbiage is the first red flag. The fact that authors must pay that much to be included, and earn zero royalties in return, is the icing on the cake. This is a HUGE scam.

Any author contributing to an anthology should never pay to do so, and should, instead, demand to be paid for their contribution.

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles







90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing


Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.



The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.





Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/6712.html



Q –

Hello, Angela,

I cut and pasted characters I found on the Internet, edited them in my graphics program, and want to use them in my new book. I realized later that maybe I was not supposed to do that. I tried for find the original artists to ask permission but I could not. I didn’t save the links.

Can I hire an artist to re-draw the characters I created from those images I found on the Internet? I don’t want to get sued for copyright infringement.


A –

Copying/pasting from the Internet, and using those for your own benefit, is copyright infringement even if you alter the images.

Asking an artist to re-draw the images you created from copyrighted materials would then put that artist at risk of being sued for copyright infringement. And, you’d get sued, too, since you’d be using the images in your book.

You will need to start from scratch, and create completely original characters. Or, you will need to hire someone to do that for you.

Our recommended illustrators are here:
https://marketplace.writersweekly.com/illustrators

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

How Many Copies Of Your Book Would You Have To Sell In Order To Break Even?




Fall 2020 24 Hour Short Story Contest








7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition


At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.

And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!

Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!



Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/5635.html





Ask The Expert Archives