Peace of Mind for Independent Publishers: Insurance to Cover Your Liability as an Independent PublisherSeptember 2, 2009
Every time you publish a book, article, or blog, you become a potential target for a lawsuit. To protect yourself, you might consider looking into media liability insurance. There are other options available, but a good place to start is the new automated WriteInsure™ program from the Publiability Division of Argo Insurance Brokers, Inc. WriteInsure is an affordable media perils insurance program that was designed specifically for independent authors, small publishers, bloggers, and freelance writers. WriteInsure offers limits of liability insurance protection from $100,000 each claim with a $300,000 aggregate all the way up to and including $1,000,000. The WriteInsure policy provides traditional media perils such as, but not limited to, libel, plagiarism, piracy, copyright infringement, defamation, infringement of the right of privacy or publicity, outrage, infliction of emotional distress, misappropriation of property rights, and much more. Importantly, legal defense costs are also included. Visit www.publiability.com and then click on the WriteInsure link to start an online application, or click here to download their FAQ and learn more.
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We're excited to announce the Big Bad Story Contest, a new program that will give promising high school students in the Austin community a chance to become published authors. We'll be inviting schools within the Austin city limits to submit their top essays and short stories composed by students in 9th–12th grades for consideration in the contest. Each school will identify two finalists, and from these finalists our editors will select several stories and essays to be published in an anthology of young voices, which will be made available in retail outlets.
The contest officially begins in January 2010, and submissions to the contest must be submitted to Greenleaf Book Group on or by March 29, 2010. Submissions must be less than 5,000 words.
The contest is designed to get young people writing creatively—and give the winners the first taste of being published (and a credit that could help them as they look toward college.) We'll be donating a portion of the profit from sales of the anthology to a local non-profit organization, to be determined by the start of the contest. Interested schools and non-profits should contact Chris McRay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512.891.6100.
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It’s more obvious than ever that the publishing industry is changing, and combined with the current retail slump, it is even more difficult to get independent books onto bookstore shelves. However, in addition to keeping your book distributor updated on your upcoming media appearances, there are some other things that you can do as an author to help make headway. One recommendation is to develop a strong following in your local community from which you can expand upon into other markets. Click here for some great tips from Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., on how to get in good with your local bookstores.
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On Wednesday, August 26, our own Tanya Hall will be hosting a webinar for Write Well University and AuthorSmart called Introduction to Publishing Options—Which Approach is Right For You? Here's a description of Tanya's session from WriteWellU.com:
This class will cover the basic publishing options available to authors along with the pros and cons of each. We'll discuss how different types of projects can benefit from different publishing strategies and which approaches are appropriate for certain types of authors/books. Between traditional publishing, POD publishing, eBooks, and hybrid models this class will help you cut through the confusion and make the best business decision to launch your book.
Registration is $10, which includes audio recordings and handouts. Click here to register for the class. You can find out more about Write Well U's programs by visiting them on their website, Facebook, or Twitter.
At Greenleaf Book Group, Tanya divides her time between seeking out and working with authors to develop their publishing programs and handling a range of initiatives that don't fall neatly into other departments, including Greenleaf Book Group's foreign rights program. Prior to her current role, she led Greenleaf's distribution department and worked directly with retailers and wholesalers to list and sell books. Before joining the publishing industry, Tanya worked as a television producer for various television shows and networks, including Extra! and E! Cable Networks.
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One of the most confusing (and least fun) aspects of publishing a book is making sure your title is in compliance with all the appropriate organizations in order to maximize its searchability. There are so many different factors involved in this process that it’s easy to get bogged down with the amount of information that gets thrown at you. Even though there is no need to learn all the ins and outs of the Library of Congress, the sheer multitude of acronyms alone is enough make you cross-eyed.
For those of you who don’t enjoy hours of web research on a topic that is less than stimulating, here’s a quick breakdown of the basic steps you’ll need to take. (Keep in mind that doing things in this order is important.)
1. Get an ISBN. International Standard Book Numbers are required for every book that is going to be sold in the book trade. These can be obtained through Bowker, also known as Books in Print.
2. Register your book with Books in Print. Once you receive the ISBN you’ll need to make sure that your title data is registered in their system. This is important because a lot of sources (Amazon, Ingram, etc.) receive data feeds from this system—not to mention the fact that this is a resource for bookstores, libraries, and publishers around the world.
3. Create a barcode with the ISBN and price embedded. Most trade stores require this to be on the back of your book before they will place an order.
4. Obtain a LCCN (also know as a PCN). The Library of Congress Control Number (or Pre-Assigned Control Number) is a unique number that differentiates your book in the Library of Congress database. Librarians use this number to access the associated bibliographic record for a given title.
5. Obtain CIP data. Cataloging in Publication data creates a bibliographic record for forthcoming books that are likely to be acquired by librarians (and hopefully, librarians will want your book!). This is to be printed on the copyright page, and this data is only available for works that are not yet published.
1. Send one final copy to the Cataloging in Publication Division of the Library of Congress.
2. Send two final copies to the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress along with Form CO and the registration fee. Alternatively, you are now able to fill out this form and submit payment online with eCO (electronic Copyright Office).
3. Wait to receive your Copyright Confirmation (current wait time is 12–16 months).
While this outline may not seem too arduous, there are many potential roadblocks in this process—so brace yourself, hope for the best, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!