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NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list of resources available, merely a starting point for our clients to begin to research and learn more about book publishing. Inclusion of a link on this list does not imply affiliation with or endorsement of a site’s content or a writer’s opinion.
Clicking on any of these links will take you to a third-party site. Legacy Isle Publishing assumes no responsibility for the content you may find there, nor for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.
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Copyright — Before quoting works or excerpting content belonging to others (including song lyrics) or reproducing images, be sure you have secured the appropriate permissions and have thoroughly reviewed copyright law to ensure that you are not violating someone else’s copyright. Once published, your work has automatic copyright protection; you may also wish to register your work for additional legal reasons. Note that registering copyright and obtaining an ISBN are two completely separate processes.
U.S. Copyright Office — The official U.S. government site; includes FAQs on copyright and information on registering your work
Stanford University Libraries - Copyright & Fair Use — Many universities have excellent resources, written in layman’s terms, on the basics of copyright to aid their students. Stanford's Copyright Overview page includes information on websites, obtaining permissions and public domain. It's a good place to start.
Ten Common Copyright Permission Myths — Common misconceptions on copyright, explained in layman’s terms. The site is a bit dated looking and hasn't been updated for a couple years, but contains some good basic information, explained simply. Be sure to do additional research to ensure the information is current.
Privacy and Publicity Rights — Copyright (the right to reproduce content) is a completely separate matter from privacy and/or publicity rights. This issue most often comes up regarding photos. While a photographer can grant you the right to reproduce the photograph she took of a dairy farmer in your book, she cannot (unless she has a signed release from the subject) legally give you permission for the dairy farmer's likeness to appear. Only the dairy farmer can do that. This can be a murky area, especially pertaining to celebrities, who often fiercely protect their publicity rights. You will never go wrong if you stick with the strictest interpretation of the law, meaning that you should obtain permission from the photographer and any individuals who can be clearly seen in a photograph. This is obviously close to impossible when using archival photographs; in general, it is rare for objections to surface when using archival photographs in non-fiction books for interior content.
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ISBN (International Standard Book Number) — A unique identifier for a book, specifying its format and publisher along with the title and author. An ISBN is not mandatory for copyright protection but is essential if you plan on selling your book in a retail environment (with the exception of Amazon, which uses its own proprietary identification system) or to libraries/schools. Clients purchasing Legacy Isle’s Distribution Upgrade will have an ISBN assigned, registered to Legacy Isle; other clients who wish to have an ISBN must obtain one on their own.
U.S. ISBN Agency — The official U.S. ISBN site; includes FAQs and instructions for obtaining an ISBN
“Do I really need a separate ISBN for my e-book?” by Ron Pramschufer — An explanation in layman’s terms on assigning ISBNs for e-books.
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LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number) — A unique identifier for a book, assigned by the Library of Congress, to locate bibliographic information for the title within the Library of Congress Catalog. Only books that are likely to be included in U.S. library collections need an LCCN. Clients purchasing Legacy Isle’s Distribution Services upgrade will have an LCCN assigned, registered to Legacy Isle; other clients who wish to have an LCCN must obtain one on their own. There is no charge to register for an LCCN.
Library of Congress Preassigned Control Number Program — The official Library of Congress site for obtaining an LCCN; includes FAQ and instructions for obtaining an LCCN. Be sure to read the list of texts ineligible to receive an LCCN, a list that includes e-books: http://www.loc.gov/publish/pcn/about/scope.html
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General Book Publishing Industry Resources & News Sites — These sites contain news and information about the industry. Some are very industry-specific, targeted at those involved in the business of publishing or with knowledge of the book trade, while others are broader and more helpful to aspiring authors.
BISAC Headings — The BISAC codes are a standardized set of subject codes to categorize books. If you are interested in retailing your book, it’s helpful to identify the two or three BISAC subject codes most appropriate for your book.
Bookselling This Week — The news site for the American Booksellers Association. Very industry-focused, but you may find it helpful to understand the how’s and why’s of the bookstore industry. Includes links to many bookstore blogs nationwide, which often feature interesting marketing ideas.
Digital Book World — Concentrates on e-books, but includes many helpful articles on marketing and social media that can apply to print books and are good resources for all authors
GalleyCat — A division of MediaBistro dedicated to book coverage; includes articles on bookselling, social media, general book-related news and self-publishing
HuffPost Books — The Huffington Post’s book section; the latest news stories relating to books, plus articles on book trends, columnists who often share good ideas for authors, and a long list of links to established book-related sites
Publishers’ Weekly — One of the biggest industry publications. Daily news, some of it very industry-focused and of interest mostly to those in the publishing business, but also including many helpful ideas for authors.
Publishing Perspectives — An international site with industry news from all over the world
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Self-Publishing & Writers’ Resources — These links concentrate on sites specifically devoted to helping self-published authors or to the craft of writing.
Amazon Advantage — Amazon.com’s Advantage program allows self-published authors and small publishers to sell their print books through Amazon.com.
The Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS) — Formerly the Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN), this organization is aimed at small publishers and independent authors who want to reach non-bookstore sales channels. There’s lots here to help self-published authors. Start with the FAQ: http://community.bookapss.org/page/publishing-faq
Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) — The IBPA is a member organization dedicated to supporting small press publishers, including self-published authors. Their site offers a small selection of resource articles, free of charge and accessible to the public. Additional content and opportunities (marketing programs, seminars, etc.) are available to members only.
Midwest Book Review Advice for Writers & Publishers — Midwest Book Review is a volunteer organization that offers free book reviews and advice for writers.
Nathan Bransford’s blog — Bransford has many, many great posts, particularly on the mathematics and logic of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing and the nuts-and-bolts of being a published writer.
Writer Beware — Particularly devoted to the pitfalls and scams that self-published authors may fall prey to, but also includes good articles on self-publishing and marketing for authors, plus lists of resources
Writer’s Digest — The online site for the original Writer’s Digest magazine devoted to the craft of writing and the business of getting published. Lots of articles, as well as info on the site’s products (classes, books, etc.). Also a “community forum” to engage other writers.
"Good And Bad Reasons to Self-Publish" by Tracy Marchini — A writer shares her take on the pros and cons of self-publishing.
"Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know" by David Carnoy — A look at the process of self-publishing with some excellent tips from CNET writer David Carnoy.
"The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Writers" by Robert Lee Brewer — A writer/editor shares his tips for using social media.
Writing the Hawaii Memoir by Darien Gee — This release from our traditional publishing arm, Watermark Publishing, by bestselling novelist and writing coach Darien Gee covers the nuts and bolts of writing memoir. It is specifically designed to help you FINISH writing your manuscript. It has been tailored to address issues of particular interest to those living in or from Hawaii (pidgin dialect, concerns over revealing family secrets, etc.) but is highly applicable to anyone writing a memoir, biography or even a novel that takes the form of personal narrative.
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Book Marketing Sites — These links feature sites offering advice on marketing and PR for authors and publishers. They may offer paid services or purchasable publications as well as free information.
John Kremer Book Marketing & Promotions — Contains many links, ideas and resources. A mix of free content and purchasable resources. Here’s the publicity resources list: http://www.bookmarket.com/publicity.htm
Seth Godin’s Blog — A highly respected, best-selling author and marketing guru, Godin is well-known for his forays into self-publishing (The Domino Project). His blog offers some excellent marketing advice, some of it specific to books, much of it general advice applicable to authors, but you’ll need to check it constantly (subscribe to the feed) and bookmark what you like — you can search it for terms, but there are no tags or categories to help you navigate.
SJ Miller BookPR.com Blog — A book publicist who offers an insightful blog with good ideas. A particularly useful post: http://bookpr.com/bookpromotionblog/2012/06/book-promotion-is-a-crummy-investment-but-its-an-excellent-opportunity/
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Book Community Sites —The following sites are devoted to reviewing books or public forums providing opportunities for interaction between authors and readers.
Blogging Authors — Authors are invited to submit guest posts for publication on the site (be sure to read the submission guidelines carefully); affiliated with Reader Views, a site devoted to reviews of books by volunteer readers.
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E-Book Sites —There is an abundance of websites offering e-book publishing services. This list provides links to the three major e-book retailers through which we sell our own Watermark Publishing titles and sites offering helpful information on general e-book publishing practices. This list does NOT include sites devoted specifically to helping you create your own e-book file.
iBookstore — Apple developed the iBookstore as a complement to its iTunes music and video store. Self-published authors can establish an account to sell books (or offer them for free) on Apple devices. Be sure to read Apple's FAQ so you understand what type of account to create: http://www.apple.com/itunes/content-providers/book-faq.html
Kindle Direct Program — Amazon’s Kindle Direct Program allows self-published authors to upload their e-books and make them available for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader device. Kindle Direct will accept both standard and fixed-layout files, although fixed-layout files are only viewable on the Kindle Fire device.
Nook Press by Barnes & Noble — Nook Press allows self-published authors to upload their e-books and make them available for Barnes & Noble’s NOOK e-reader device. (This self-publishing program was formerly called PubIt!)
Digital Book World — E-book publishing news site offering the latest e-book industry news and editorial articles, as well as blogs from experts with helpful tips. News content is free, but a paid membership is required to access some of their resources.
Wikipedia E-Book Entry — It’s helpful to understand exactly what an e-book is, and the different types of reader devices that exist. Wikipedia is a good place to start. The entry on E-Book Formats is also extremely helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats