Mr. – umm, I mean – Ms. Hawk

We are graced by the anonymous Mr. Hawk.

You may wonder “How can one be anonymous and still be a Mr. Hawk?”

Well, part of the problem is my assuming a gender and being incorrect.

Let’s start again…

We are graced by the anonymous Ms. Hawk.

Who, once we are corrected, happily shares her name, Angeline.”

Looks like an Angeline, now that you know, doesn’t she?

Perhaps the unisexual Ange?

Ah, well…perhaps not.

 

Copyrights – How I got screwed out of $30k because my publisher didn’t fulfill their contract obligations

Long story short: When you see a line in your contract something like

Copyright shall be taken out by the PUBLISHER in the name of AUTHOR in the United States of America, and in foreign countries as the PUBLISHER and AUTHOR may deem advisable.

make sure your publisher takes out the copyright.

US-based self- and indie-publishers should go to Copyright.gov (non-US authors – look up the copyrighting organization for your country). Copyrighting your work is far less expensive and more profitable (in the long run) than having attorneys deal with publisher malfeasance.

I’ve attended classes and readings by “established” authors (ie, someone who’s written more books than you), publishers, and editors, and encountered something like

4. Don’t Talk About Copyright
Never say you have copyrighted your book with the Library of Congress. Your book is copyrighted the moment you put the words on paper. To have it done officially dates your material – forever.
Let the publisher do that.

Some of that advice is reasonable: Don’t say you’ve done it.

Want to know why?

Because most agents, acquisition editors, and their associated first readers aren’t lawyers, have no legal training, and to them this signals you don’t know what you’re doing.

Because when it comes to this, they don’t know what they’re doing.

Or, having copyrighted your work is a clear sign they can’t take advantage of you later on.

But the rest of the advice is dreck: Your work isn’t copyrighted simply because you’ve written it. Want a cheap alternative to Copyright.gov? Print out your work and USPO (or whatever mail service is in your country) mail it to yourself. Receive it and never open it…until an issue like this arises. You’ll still need a lawyer and the USPO’s processing mark because that mark shows the date your package passed through their system. You have proof of when you finished your project and a little evidence goes a long way when your publisher’s an idiot.

Read on for the details of my plight and an actual attorney – who deals specifically in intellectual property law – said about it.

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Bottomline
The bottomline here is obvious, me thinks: Copyright your work.

You don’t have to tell anybody.

Until you see them in court.

The Return of Opie

The Mighty Ops has been missing from these posts for a while.

We’ve known both Opie and Opalina have been about.

They leave calling cards.

You don’t want to know.

Shy yet ferocious, The Mighty Ops takes on all challengers.

Discretion is the better part of valor, of course, and still…

Don’t get between Opossum and their meals.

Remember their war cry – Beware my piercing teeth, Two-Legs!

 

Where to Go from Here

I finished The Alibi on Tuesday, 7 May 2024, and have since been taking a break.

That’s authorspeak for “catching up on all the stuff I didn’t do because I was deep in the writing.”

Today is Wednesday, 22 May 2024, and I’ve been itching to get back to my writing for about a week. The hesitation comes from genuinely enjoying catching up on everything.

Now I can divide my time between vitriol and marketing, both parts of the catchup process.

Sometimes the vitriol and marketing collide.

Anyway, starting next Monday and going on for a while, vitriol in place of new material.

It’s my vitriol, and I came by it through experience tempered with hard work.

Quite the combination, that.