Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More Good News from Amazon and some Advice from US.

Book Two of the Shadow Chronicles

Above and throughout this Notice, are covers of the last few titles added this week to the Kindle Stores Worldwide.

Over the past six months Amazon has been setting up sales sites abroad, where Kindle Owners in foreign lands can buy and get English Language books delivered electronically just as quickly as we do here.  To that end, they began with a store in the United Kingdom, followed quickly with stores in Denmark, Germany, France, Estonia, and Italy. 

TODAY they announced that all books with Worldwide Rights will also be for sale in INDIA. So Hi to all you new readers in India from Write Words, Inc. and our Talented Authors!  We look forward to serving you.

 Book Five of the Shannon Delaney Paranormal Mystery Series

Someone sent me a copyright question this week, asking if we register copyrights on individual editions. Actually, we don't. It's not so bad a charge for an author, who only has to do it once, and who retains all those rights even after we publish. But Multiply that charge by up to 10 books a month and think about your last check. We make the same as you. Needless to say it would be a courtesy if we could do it, but it's not in our budgetary ability.


We never ask you to sign away your future copyrights as part of our contract (with Big 6 publishers, that is sometimes true, the ones who buy all rights and then re-sell movie rights and paperback rights and so on, but not with small fish like us) that's why the copyright page has your name alone listed on it, not ours. The contract you signed licenses us to publish and market your book. Except for that one use, all other rights remain with you. Every copyright page also contains a date of publication... In the e-book, that date is when the files are completed and usually quite a few weeks subsequent to the contract date.

Under the 1978 copyright law, a work is automatically copyrighted to the creator of it within the US as soon when it is completed, whether it is Registered, OR NOT.  If someone is sued for copyright infringement, registration is absolute proof that the work was completed before the registration date.  So is a clearly postmarked sealed envelope with a copy inside, that can be opened in court. Not proof if you have opened it, however.

The whole purpose of registering the copyright is to protect the copyright holder (the author) in case someone else claims to have produced the work, first. Under US Federal law, a work is yours as soon as it's completed. Also, if more than 50 words are changed, it needs to be registered again as someone could argue that it's a different rendition... 50 words....

Book 6 of the Harmony Village Series

One other thing you should know about the copyright law:  You hold the original copyright for 150 years From the Day You Finished Writing and unless you are a toddler, or from a Very Long-Lived family, eventually, someone else will have to handle your work and any earnings from it. 

No, none of us wants to think about that. But some of our authors have departed and thanks to their having given things a thought, we didn't have to let their work die with them. We are able to continue to sell their books to new readers to whom they continue to bring joy. We forward their earnings to the individuals they have designated to receive them.

So how do you do that. Well, here's what they did.  They made a will, mentioned their works, and named their executor, or literary executor, OR they sent me a letter letting me know what I should do with their earnings if anything should happen. That's all it takes. A note in the database tells us whom to pay if someone is no longer able to collect for him, or herself. 

One author named her son, who is also her financial executor. Another named a literary executor, to whom her earnings are to be paid and he is to hold all her rights and to be able to renew them (you can do that for another 150 years when the first time period runs out), and can pass them along to his heirs as he chooses.

I am literary executor for a dear friend who passed in 1980. Both her earnings and those of another author who also passed with cancer go to the American Cancer Society in their names.

So here's the thing. It's your work. Certainly we plan to be around a while and we hope you will here to renew those copyrights when the renewal time comes up. But if anything should happen, what arrangements do you want to make about your work's future?  It is something to think about.

Book Two of the California Series

What a hodge-podge I've written today. Maybe I'd better get back to uploading e-books to sales sites, and stop trying to think straight, huh?

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