Posted by: penpatience | July 1, 2018

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

WRITERS WORDS: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact in the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” –Jane Goodall

 

JULY 2018 MONTHLY MUSING

 

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

It’s time–time to send your written masterpiece out to publisher/magazine markets. Many writers breathe a sigh of relief when a project is finally completed believing the remainder of achieving publication will be easier. HA!  Perhaps, but just as writers should study the writing craft (and it’s never over), the knowledge of Copyright, Permissions and Rights also require advance knowledge before submitting your work. Unfortunately, “one size does not fit all,” and yes, “different strokes for different folks” applies to writer markets.

My initial goal was to write stories and articles for magazine markets. I was lucky. My early writing education included an annual copy of “The Best of Magazine Markets for Writers” and a writing class workbook that provided up front, “how to” information assisting me in avoiding many pitfalls that might have been more harmful than any early “rejections” I received.

Magazines request and purchase certain rights to publish manuscripts. Some common rights purchased by magazines may be: All World Rights, All World Serial Rights, First Rights, Electronic Rights, First North American Serial Rights, Reprint rights, One-Time Rights. Definitions referencing these rights are available on many writer sites and too lengthy to define in a short blog, but knowing they exist and checking them out in submission guidelines is very important. That said,

BEWARE of All World Rights: “The publisher purchases all rights to publish your work anywhere in the world any number of times. This includes all forms of media (both current and any that may be developed later). The publisher also has the right to all future use of the work, including reprints, syndication, creation of derivative works, and use in databases. You no longer have the right to sell or reproduce your work, unless you can negotiate for the return of certain rights.”—The Best of Magazine Markets for Writers-2014

Basically you just threw your baby away with the bath water. Your beloved story is no longer yours.

New and emerging writers are often very eager to publish their work; too often pertinent inquiries may be overlooked. Some helpful information:

    • Writing published in the United States prior to 1923 is in the public domain. Material may be quoted without permission but the source should always be cited.
    • When you want to quote another writer’s words in a manuscript you’re preparing, you must get that writer’s permission. Without permission, you could be sued for copyright infringement. Example: My blog posts are copyrighted. No one can copy any of my posts, or part of any post without my permission.
    • Payment methods vary by publication. The most common are payment on acceptance or on publication. Of course, writers prefer upon acceptance. Publication may be delayed, or not published after all. Some magazines offer a “Kill Fee.” If they decide not to publish your article, a writer would, at least, receive some sort of compensation in exchange for the work.
  • So no, a writers’ work is never easy. Fraught with obstacles other than writing a great article, story or novel, there’s all the legal ramifications, submittal guidelines, publishing deadlines, query and cover letters, locating beta-readers and good critique and on and on and on… So why bother writing? Most writers write because they are passionate about their work. They’re not happy people unless they are creating and writing in their favorite genres. Many writers have shared their lives in meaningful memoir (i.e. Jeanette Walls-the Glass Castle) or like the late Stephen Hawkins opening our minds to the mysteries within our universe.

 

The following sites may be helpful: http://www.authorsguild.org, http://www.publaw.com/legal, http://www.predators&Editors.com or http://www.pred-ed.com

Dear Readers and Writers: Be safe this  4th of July!

A Safety Lecture in 56 Words

It takes one minute to write a safety rule.

It takes one hour to hold a safety meeting.

It takes one week to plan a safety program.

It takes one month to put it in operation.

It takes one year tow in a safety award.

It takes one second to destroy it all with one accident.

                                  –Author Unknown

 

 


Responses

  1. This is all very interesting and definitely useful information that I would assume many are largely unaware about when beginning a career in writing. I remember learning about the many complexities of Copyright and other similar legal systems last year in a university course. Reading this made a bunch more sense than a good portion of that curriculum, ha! Thank you for educating us with this.

    Like

    • Thanks Will,
      So much has changed in the publishing world. Authors self-publishing was unheard of a decade ago. Glad you liked the post.

      Like


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