1. Sayold

    Sayold Member

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    self publishing

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by Sayold, Mar 15, 2018.

    hello
    im trying to self publish but i have a few concerns..

    can you self publish annymously?

    whats the best self publishing service?

    what about payment and copyrights?

    thanks
     
  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    You can self-publish under any name you want.

    What do you mean by self-publishing service? There are a variety of services on offer. Or do you mean the best place to self-publish?

    You own the copyright as soon as you write your story. If you publish and your book is successful, it's pretty inevitable that pirates will copy your book and share it with people who download pirated stuff. It's a never-ending battle to get these copies removed from the internet, and far too expensive to do anything about it, legally. Authors have to accept that it will happen and we can't stop it (which sucks!) Payment will depend on the platform you self-publish on.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Yes, you can self-publish anonymously. I mean, someone is going to have at least some information about you so that you can be provided with payment, etc., but from the reader's point of view, in terms of their book purchases, you can keep things pseudonymous.

    As for best--I don't know about best, but Amazon is of course the dominant player so it is worth considering going through them. You set up your payment information with them.

    You can get a copyright registration for a pseudonymous work. If you provide the copyright office with your real name people will find it. You don't have to give them your real name, but doing everything including copyright registration with no use of your real name could raise questions about ownership if you were ever going to transfer your rights.
     
  4. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Contributor Contributor

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    In addition to this a "poor mans copyright" should solve the problem of ownership. Simply place the manuscript in an envelope with the USPS, mail it to yourself, and never open it unless or until validity is questioned.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    That's so easy to fake I don't know how much value it would be. Might be worth more simply to have the document witnessed and signed by people who would be willing to testify in court. I can send myself an unsealed, or barely sealed envelope, which I've done, and then put whatever I want into it.
     
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    This is fairly explicitly invalid in the US. There's no assurance that it has any value elsewhere, but it's especially debunked in the US.

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/poor-mans-copyright/
    https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html
     
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  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Largely off-topic for this thread, but I ask anyway.

    Let's pretend that for some reason my WIP turned out to be valuable enough to steal and to engage in a copyright battle over. (This is purely for the sake of argument. Not gonna happen.)

    Every few weeks I print the entire WIP in tinytiny print and put it in a binder, because I don't trust electronic backups.

    This means that that binder happens to contain a history of my revisions to the document.

    In this imaginary world where the document is worth fighting over, would that qualify as evidence that I was the creator?
     
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  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    if you're in the Us just register the copyright - if you're in the Uk you don't have to. Personally I'm not arsed about piracy - it happens but life's too short to get excited about it

    In terms of self publishing I'd say don't use any of the of pay up front services - there's no need you can just do it yourself. (and some of them are an outright con)

    I used draft to digital for everything except create space .... D2D take 15% of the royalty but theres no upfront cost , and they take a lot of the pain out of uploading all over the place .. create space I just uploaded myself (using the D2D Pdf) ... next time I won't bother using D2D for amazon kindle because there's no need if you are uploading to create space anyway

    (that is you are going wide - if you want to go into KU just upload it to amazon)

    Payment - when you set up your accounts you can elect to get paid by check, transfer or paypal ... you don't get paid til your royalties top $25 if you choose check. If you live outside the US you need to do the W8BEN online form so that the IRS don't with hold 30% of your royalties.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    It would be evidence if you were in court to testify to having printed and bound the pages. It wouldn't necessarily be dispositive evidence. One might argue it could have been faked, or acquired improperly from the real author, and that it is self-serving testimony. But if the other side has nothing, maybe it's good enough. If someone saw you print it out every few weeks and you both signed the document, and they were willing to come in and testify, might be even better.

    In the hypothetical, you said you don't trust electronic backups, but if you used a cloud service that had versioning where you could obtain, from the company, a complete version history, date and time-stamped, of what went to their server, it seems to me that would be pretty compelling.
     
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  10. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Contributor Contributor

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    Bingo....and I have covered my own ass with much success.
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    When you say much success do you mean you've used this as evidence in a copyright battle that you won ?
     
  12. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'd assume that if you upload your work via kindle or an aggregator or whatever you'd be able to prove the date you uploaded it anyway

    EOTD is this really an issue ? AS far as i can tell piracy is more about ripping off the epub and selling it or distribuiting it with no money going to the author (and the sites doing it are generally in china or dneiper republic or whatever so legal pursuit is pointless)
    I don't think Ive ever seen a case where the author actually had to prove the work was there's not someone else's
     
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  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Authorship/ownership of the copyright has to be established, but in most cases I don't think that's going to be difficult If you've shared the work with someone and they steal it and claim it as their own it could be an issue.

    As you said, a lot of piracy is overseas. Even if it isn't, it is expensive to pursue a copyright lawsuit. One advantage of timely registering the copyright in the U.S. is you can get statutory damages and attorneys' fees, which might induce a lawyer to take the case on a contingency fee if the infringement is rampant enough and it looks like the judgment could be collected.
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    In the UK there's a small claims track of the patents court for IP violation... I've used it a fair bit for photo issues, but the same applies getting a judgement is one thing - making the bastards pay up is another
     
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  15. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Contributor Contributor

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    I seem to remember a few cases of people downloading a successful writer's book, filing off the serial numbers, then publishing it themselves under a different name. Typically it doesn't work for long as someone will read the book and tell the original writer that it's a rip-off of their book.

    Worse than that, though, there have been scammers who send copyright claims to Amazon for other people's books, and Amazon pull them and tell the writer to sort it out with the scammer. In some cases, I believe the scammer has demanded money to drop their claim so the book can be published again.
     
  16. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Contributor Contributor

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    Yes, after producing the evidence mediation saw to it that it never reached court. There are officially positions, and then there is preponderance of evidence....it can still be used as evidence fit for dismissal.
     
  17. Sayold

    Sayold Member

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    I was thinking about websites where you can publish your books.

    Okay that's good to know.

    Yeah i was thinking something similar. I assume if you have proof that you were the first person to upload the books, you can prove that you are the original owner.
     
  18. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I would think, if you're worried about your work getting stolen, that the best evidence you can produce are umpteen copies of the many changes you made to the MS ...all separately dated, of course. Whenever I work on a chapter, I first make a copy of the existing chapter and put it into a folder FOR that chapter. Then I put the new date on the original, and get to work.

    Another good reason to do revisions and heavy editing. So many copies!

    For several years I have been sending attachments of my MS in its current state to myself via email—which is a web-based email service. These attachments are date-stamped, and I don't think they would be easy to fake. I'm not doing this because I'm worried about somebody stealing my story, but I do believe in not putting all my eggs in one basket, as regards backups. It's so I'll always have a copy somewhere if my computer dies and/or my house goes on fire and my pocket flash drive(s) I carry with me at all times suddenly don't work. Paranoid? You betcha.

    Like @ChickenFreak , I also make paper printouts. I usually destroy an old printed chapter after I've revised it, but I do have three copies of formerly 'completed' manuscript drafts printed out, including my first draft copy. If the house catches fire, these will be goners, though. (Just as well, at least when it comes to my first draft!)

    Anyway ...my book is currently over 200,000 words long—and the earlier versions are longer than that. Too long for traditional publication. Who in their right mind would want to steal it?

    I think, for most people, the problem they'll face won't be keeping people from stealing their stuff. Instead, they'll be struggling to get people to notice their stuff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
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  19. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Still must have been pretty expensive just to get to mediation! Was this for a novel, or something else?
     
  20. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    It depends. Sometimes mediation can get somewhat expensive. Cheaper than arbitration, in my experience, because it is less formal.

    However, it doesn’t sound like authorship was vigorously contested in this case. While you only have to convince a judge or mediator or jury about something like authorship, if it is a seriously contested issue it wouldn’t be hard to cast a lot of doubt on mailing something to yourself. It’s a matter of being safe about it. If a work is worth litigating in the first place then the cheap fee for registering the copyright is also worth it.
     
  21. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    That (also it's hard to see what there is to mediate in a black and white this is mine, its not yours, sod off type case)
     
  22. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Registration probably costs, what, about six minutes of lawyer-time?

    But while registering is prima facie evidence, it's not uncontestable, right? Like, if someone stole your stuff and registered it before you did, you could still use the other forms of proof to establish that you actually wrote it?
     
  23. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Contributor Contributor

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    Logo/brand/original artwork proof.
     
  24. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    If you register within 5 years of publication you get a legal presumption that the registration is valid and accurate (i.e. you’re the author). It’s not impossible to overcome but the presumption stacks the deck in the favor of the registrant.
     
  25. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    So I'd presume therefore that its a good idea to register before your work enters the public domain. (In the Uk we don't have formal registration and the websites that offer it are basically pretty much a scam)
     

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