Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Author Copyright

New Author Supplies store(click here).

Help protect your "Work" (manuscript) with a statement of common law ownership, a form of copyright. Using a copyright statement is the first step to protect the Work. This should be done before sending all or part of a manuscript to an agent or publisher. You can turn to your publisher or a group such as LegalZoom, but I recommend doing it yourself for unpublished Works and also to register a published Work's copyright.   

The U. S. Copyright Office also registers unpublished documents (for a fee):
"Deposit requirements for literary works depend on whether a work has been published at the time of registration. For unpublished works, one complete copy or phonorecord is required. If you use the electronic Copyright Office (eCO) to register your unpublished work, you can submit your deposit electronically. See sl-35 for details about eCO. If you choose to submit a hard-copy deposit or to register using a paper application, there is no specific requirement regarding the printing, binding, format, or paper size and quality of the unpublished manuscript material you deposit. Typewritten, photocopied, and legibly handwritten manuscripts, preferably in ink, are all acceptable. However, because deposit material represents the entire copyrightable content of a work submitted for registration, copies deposited in a format that will facilitate handling and long-term storage (for example, stapled, bound, or clipped material) are greatly appreciated by the Copyright Office." - Source: U. S. Copyright Office website

Copyright applies only to the version registered with an official entity like a government copyright office. Changes require new copyright. 

I use the process below until a Work is published: 

Prepare your author copyright statement with your name or pen name. For example:

Copyright (c) 2014 Portia V. Huber

Put your copyright statement in the header or footer of each document connected with your Work. For now, let's assume that the Work documents are chapters.
  1. Open Chapter 1.
  2. Find how to access Header or Footer (in Microsoft Word, go to the View menu and click on "Header...Footer" - the Top or Bottom "box" on any page of the chapter.
  3. Type your copyright statement into the blank space of either the Header or Footer; you could put it in both, if it makes you feel better.
  4. Click anywhere on the text page of Chapter 1 to get out of the Header/Footer box and back to the text.
  5. Save the changes.
  6. Notice that your copyright statement now appears on every page of Chapter 1.
  7. Continue working or close the chapter.
  8. Repeat 1-7 to add copyright statement to every chapter.
TIP #1 Add the Chapter Title (or Number) to the Header; use the Insert feature to insert page numbers. When you work with printouts of the chapter, these steps could save a lot of time or prevent mix-ups later.

TIP #2 Build this process into a habit for added protection for you and your writing.

TIP #3 You can create second "Read Only" versions of your chapters, for anyone you want to give you feedback, after the steps above are followed. Be sure to keep your working documents not "Read only"!

copyright claim
common copyright
legal copyright
document rights
copyright registration
rights of ownership
costs to register a copyright

Thanks! to writers whose questions have influenced 2013 topics here at Author Support. Looking forward to blogging more in 2014. 


Copyright (c) 2013 Jean P. Purcell

Monday, December 30, 2013

"Writer, who are you?"

"Who am I to think I can/have the right to/know enough to do/say/try this to that?" A New Year is upon us and what better time to change such thinking? 

"I don't think of myself as an 'author'." This was said by a writer with a book manuscript. Could I convince her that having an unpublished manuscript did allow her to see herself as an author? If she would not think it, then who would?

Here's another one: "I just write for myself." Unless we're talking about a diary, I don't buy that. Communicating is at the core of the writing life.

I plead guilty of having been shy about talking about my work. I avoided putting it out there. But, shyness was a ridiculous hindrance that had to be wrestled against. It's an ongoing exercise, to force away the doubts and the reluctance to go public. No one is forced to read it, so I write for those who want to.

We gotta get over it, as we say, to rebuff feelings of comparative ineptness. We have to get up again and again to ignore self-judgment that goes way too far. Otherwise, this pattern will continue to fog up constructive criticism that, by the way, always helps while it hurts.

The best way to kill this nonsense in a New Year is motivation to focus on the pleasures and initiative of the writing life. Writing is a creative adventure, and that's what we love! We gravitate to this as a beaver (they are inventive creatures, you know) lunges for its prey. So, like the beaver, we become more adept as we go public while we work.

I'm eager to go find some prey, some recurring or new thoughts and stories ready for seizing. You know we share a love of the grit and the enthusiasm! School's out for now. So...

Happy New Year! Celebrate! 

God continues to make all things new, beyond all that we can ask or think.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Writing Bread

New Author Supplies store(click here)

Flour-loose collection of words 

Yeast-resting, kneading words to allow word power to rise

Oil-a fluid blend for cohesiveness

Salt-for fullness of taste

Those are four Ingredients I see in recipes for homemade bread.

The thought comes that bread in biblical times and on certain Jewish holidays today leaves out the yeast. There's a historical reason for that: yeast requires time to make bread rise. At Passover in Egypt, the people had to leave quickly.

The ingredient I can say the least about now is flour. It is essential, and wheat and rye come to mind.

Consider oil, a tangible element of blessing. I think of canola, sunflower, and olive, for example.

Salt with its dry savor enhances the flavor of the other elements.

I am so excited about baking my first bread and writing in new ways!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Write a Simple Sentence in English

One area of privilege that I had in my small town in North Carolina was a good school system, and I enjoyed writing. My teachers helped inspire and correct me.

We need to know the language we use.

We need to know about the sentence, the building block of writing. Here's a review:

The sentence must have a subject. 
A subject is a noun or a pronoun. A noun is a person, place, or thingExample: Jack (a person), New York City (a place), or team (a thing).  

The sentence must have a verb. A verb shows or tells action or state of being. 

The sentence must have closing punctuation: period, question mark, or exclamation mark that denotes the end of the sentence. 

This is "old school," but it works. To begin, we'll look at a simple sentence ending with a period, remembering, for now, that subject + verb + period = sentence. No period or other ending mark can be put at the end of a string of words unless that string has a subject and a verb. Every sentence needs an end mark, such as a period.

Simple sentence examples: 
Jack runs. (Jack runs now, in the present moment/time.)
Jack ran. (Jack ran in the past, for example, yesterday or this morning.)

None of us is ready to move forward until we can define a noun, a verb, and a sentence from memory. If you've suspected that you need grammar help, practice writing sentences no longer than 11 words. Maybe you know someone that would check your work often.

I hope that these basics of English will make a huge difference for writers that missed the basics or are just starting to write seriously.I hope that all of us will enjoy expressing ideas and interests in words, often!