Spotlight on: The Rights of Writers

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As a writer, chances are very good that you are not also a lawyer. However, you probably have questions about the law as regards to writing, whether it be copyright questions, questions about fair usage, questions about where to find representation for yourself (cheaply, let’s face it, we’re probably not rich yet) in case someone sues you or in case you feel you need to take legal action against someone else over some issue. The legal world can be (and in fact is deliberately) confusing for us mere mortals.

Aaaarg!

That is why we have Mark Fowler, author of the blog Rights of Writers. Mark has dozens of posts discussing various issues of interest to the new, and not-so-new, author.

Much of his discussions are about journalism as opposed to fiction writing, but there is still plenty in there for fiction or genre writers also. Questions about what constitutes Fair Use? He’s got a post for that. Questions about the legality of including someone else’s characters in your works? He’s got a post about that. Questions about how far you can stretch the truth when talking about yourself? Questions about whether or not a real life figure can sue you for liable or slander? Questions about where to find other legal resources for authors, hopefully within your budget? He’s got all of that.

Now, I do want to stress one thing. While Mark is a lawyer, his blog does not constitute “legal advice.” He is offering advice, clarifications, and opinions from his years as a lawyer, he is not advising -as a laywer.- There is a subtle but important distinction.

If the legal side of writing seems a bit overwhelming, head on over to Rights of Writers. The answers you seek may be there, and at the very least, he may have links to where you can get the answers.

Follow Mark on his twitter account, linked to from the sidebar of his blog.

Spotlight On: Publish Your Own Ebooks

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One thing that often holds people back from writing is the thought of trying to get published. We have all heard horror stories of trying to get published. First you need an agent, but agents won’t talk to you until you’ve been published. Or, you submit your polished epic gem of a novel to a dozen different publishing houses, only to hear the chirping of crickets in response. Months pass, with no reply, and then maybe, if you are lucky, you get a rejection note. Lather, rinse, repeat for ten years until finally, through some combination of luck, voodoo, and the alignment of the stars, you finally get your work published.

The solution many people have been turning to, and that the internet has made much easier, is self-publishing. The only problem is, most of us don’t have the money to rent time with an actual printing press, so for a time the only solution was vanity publishing, which is about as well-received as you might expect from the name.

Then along came ebooks. Nook, Kindle, iPad, Kobo. A hundred different types of ebook readers. Horay for the Little Guy (or Girl)! Now we can self-publish without having to chop down trees ourselves to make the paper, etc.

The big question is: how? How does one go about self-publishing for the various ebook formats?

Well, the first thing that will surprise you is that there are really only two ‘main’ formats. And there are companies out there that will help you publish. But you need to know where all this information is, you need a place where it is all compiled in a useful form, without being deluged with google ads and links to dubious software ‘publishing’ downloads.

Welcome to Publish Your Own Ebooks: How to write, publish, and sell your own ebooks online. Gary McLaren has compiled dozens of helpful articles on the subject, ranging from discussions on the most popular platforms, to how to use aggregator services, from where to find art for your books, to how to ‘sign’ an ebook for signing events, and dozens more.

There is plenty of good stuff here even for those who wish to go through an established publisher. Simply knowing some of this, and having handy references at your fingertips cannot but help with the process, no matter how you approach it. Swing by and give him a read, and follow him on twitter (the link is on his site) for regular updates.

And don’t worry about this page falling off the front of this site, PYOEbooks is listed on the Resources links list on the left.

Welcome

Welcome to the Writer’s Bloc.

 

Welcome to our website, and please excuse our dust as we get ourselves situated. Feel free to wander about during construction, just remember to wear a helmet. Safety first!

 

What We Are: The Writer’s Bloc is a writer’s support circle, specializing in mostly fiction works although anyone is welcome to attend. Online, we link to articles of interest to other writers, post bits of our work, critique each other, and use our various social circles to help promote and support each other. Offline, we have a writer’s circle that meets once a month in the Los Angeles/South Bay area (actual location pending).

Who We Are: We are writers and authors, novelists and editors, artists and wordsmiths who come together to support and aid each other, believing that while individually we are all talented, together we are an unstoppable force of artistic expression. See Members for more details.

Where We Are: Our main physical location is in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, although you’re welcome to attend brick-and-mortar meetings from as far away as you’re willing to drive/fly/swim/hop/slither/undulate/ooze. Online, we are from all over the world (and beyond: Welcome, our new Aldebarran branch! Sqweegle-plik ta!).

How We Are: Quite well thanks. Yourself?