Copyrighting Your Work

Book printingProtecting an original work has become even more important in our world of easy-come, easy-go, easy-to-copy online content.  Copyrighting your book is an important step in the publishing process and the internet makes it very easy to do; ironically.

You are not required to be the world’s next best-selling author for a copyright registration to be beneficial.  Some very famous books were rejected dozens of times by publishers before they became successful.  Whether you plan to make money on what you have written or not, registering with the U.S. Copyright Office provides many benefits.  For instance, registration produces a tangible record that can later be referenced.  Should a lawsuit be initiated later on, the original copyright serves as direct evidence of who has legitimate rights to a written work.  Although a copyright registration is not essential to be protected under copyright laws, it can take a lot of hassle out of deciding who is entitled to make money from book sales.

The Process

The road map for how to secure rights to your book along with other useful information about the process can be found at www.copyright.gov.  The process is fairly simple and inexpensive however it can take a long time to be finalized.  For a nominal fee of about 35 to 40 dollars, authors can submit their work to the U.S. copyright office for review.  You can either mail in your manuscript or choose the electronic submission option.  You can even get the process started if your manuscript isn’t completely finished by pre-registering.  Once you complete the process and submit payment, you will receive a receipt that should be kept for tracking your submission.

Each work is assigned a case number that can be used to track its progress through the system.  The U.S. Copyright Office receives thousands of submissions and there is currently a lengthy backlog of applications.  It could take several months for your application to be approved.  Once it is you will be notified and sent a certificate of registration for your work.

The Traditional Path

The processes outlined above are steps that self-published authors can take to secure legal rights to their work without help from others.  If you take the traditional publishing path, copyright registration will be done for you.   It is not uncommon for authors to be scared that a publisher may steal their work or just fearful in general of sending their manuscript out to publishers for review.  This is unlikely and a reputable publisher will not steal work and publish it without permission.  Putting your work in an envelope and mailing it yourself, known as the “poor man’s patent”, is not as reliable as you might think.  There is no evidence from the U.S. Copyright Office or elsewhere to suggest that this is a legally binding method of protecting a work.

Is copyrighting your work important to you?  Have you ever had any problems with copyright infringement?

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Cheap Logo Design for New Publishers

A logo is one of the most important aspects of a business’s image. It is usually the first communication we receive from a business that gives us a sense of who they are and what they are all about.

Some businesses spend millions on logo design but for many small publishers, access to resources like that are out of the question. Fortunately there are many free or low priced opportunities to get a top-notch logo.

Find Talent from Within

Life of Title

The Life of Title logo selected from employee submissions.

Leverage the talent from inside your own organization. Put the word out among employees that you are looking for logo design submissions.

Hold a contest and offer a prize or some other type of incentive for participation. Edwards Brothers Malloy used this very strategy when looking for a logo for our Life of Title service offering.

Employees submitted designs and one was chosen. The former Edwards Brothers also sponsored a logo design competition among employees for its 110th anniversary logo. Over 50 submissions were received.

Employees are typically excited to participate and offering a small prize for the winner of a submission contest may help spur participation. You may be surprised at the hidden talents of the members of your company.

Your Sphere of Influence

Edwards Brothers Malloy

The 110th Anniversary logo submitted by an employee

Perhaps you know friends or family members that are talented at design or art.

Even if you don’t select a design that someone you know has come up with, you could at least get some more ideas of what you want a logo to look like.

If you do decide to use a design that a friend, family member or employee has submitted to your business, it is important to gain legal rights to the design before you start using it.

 

 

Third Party Logo Competitions

If looking within your business or your personal network is not fruitful, there are a variety of innovative companies offering logo design services with a twist.

Sites like logotrounament.com and logoarena.com feature plans where logo seekers can start a contest and offer a prize in exchange for logo submissions.

Logoarena.com for example allows users to start a contest and offer prizes that start at about 250 dollars. The more money you offer, the more and higher quality submissions you are likely to get.

The site is geared for business owners and it is helpful to submit as much information about the vision and culture of your company as possible. Businesses then review submissions and select a winner.

At Logo Arena, unless you receive less than 50 submissions, there is no refund even if the submissions are not to your liking.

Logotournament.com works in very much the same way with some small differences. If your business does not receive at least 30 submissions there is a money back guarantee.

The minimum prize amount is slightly higher at $275 and the company claims that you will start receiving submissions within hours of starting your contest.

Both sites promise full legal ownership once a logo is selected, vector logo files and the ability to see other contests live as submissions are coming in. This is a great way to get logos made by real designers at a fraction of the cost.

How did your company’s logo get designed? Are there other design services or ideas not mentioned here that your business has used?

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Print on Demand: The Bright Spot in Publishing

Print on DemandWhy make 1000 of something when you can make exactly as many as your customers want to buy?

This is the essence of print on demand (POD) and why it is quickly becoming the ideal model under which publishers large and small are choosing to operate.

Print According to Actual Demand

Thousands of orders come through our digital book centers every week through specialized EDI connections with our customers. We also have an interface that smaller publishers can use who do not have the IT infrastructure to support EDI connections.

The quality of printing on digital equipment is nearly equivalent to that of traditional offset which makes the practice all that more appealing to buyers. For publishers, being able to print exactly what will sell virtually eliminates inventory costs and money lost to scrapping unsold units.

POD Benefits a Wide Range of Buyers

Printing a few books might seem like a service that is only beneficial to the smallest publishers or individual authors. In reality, large publishers are taking advantage of POD instead of anticipating demand for a title.

Manufacturing only what is necessary is also beneficial for smaller outfits and individuals as well who may be operating on a tight budget. Advances in printing technology have made it more economical than ever to print small quantities of quality books.

When looking at the total cost of printing, shipping and storing the books you plan to sell, POD may be the better option. Anticipating demand for print books has become increasingly difficult and advances in POD quality make it a much more attractive approach for print buyers of all sizes.

Has print on demand helped you as a traditional or self-publisher?

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The Future of Print

Book PrintingWe love to share great content including images and video.

Whether something promotes print or not isn’t necessarily our concern but it is always a plus when we find a great video that does.

The video embedded at the bottom of this blog post is very unique because it addresses a shift in our culture with a conclusion that is not quite clear; what will be the future of print?

The video, entitled Epilogue: The Future of Print, is not the short and punchy viral video we are used to seeing online.

Instead it is a long and thoughtful narrative that features people who know books the best; publishers, printers and book sellers.  Interviews were conducted with professionals active in the Toronto print community.

Some of the most intriguing aspects of this piece, which was produced by film students, are the practical realizations about how our world is changing in terms of the way we consume information, how we feel about content delivery devices and how we preserve our culture.

book printingOne person being interviewed mentions that he has an old floppy disk at home.  He wonders if you can still buy a floppy disk.

Unless you are combing through garage sales or searching on eBay, probably not.  He raises a valid point about the data we create, use and share every day.

Think of the content you type in a word processing program.

Think of the thousands of pictures you have stored on your digital camera or cell phone.  What about the books you have stored on an eReader or some other device?

Will you be able to access this data 10 years from now if you leave it as-is?  How about 20 years from now?  If you had data stored on a floppy disk, chances are it is no longer accessible.

Technology changes so quickly and it hasn’t yet figured out a way to become permanent.  For example the first iPhone came out in 2007, just four years ago.  Today the original is no longer supported by Apple and has trouble keeping up on ultra-fast 3 and 4G networks.

ebook conversion servicesDespite these drawbacks, eReaders and other electronic devices used for reading do have their conveniences.

You can download data almost anywhere you are without having to make a special trip to a store.  You can carry hundreds of books on the same device which saves space and is great for traveling.

Prices for electronic versions of books are often less than their printed counterparts and a variety of publications like books, magazines or journals can all be read on the same device.

These and other reasons account for the explosion in popularity of these devices in recent years along with a drop in cost.

At the end of this film there is an important theme conveyed about the future of print.  Despite gloom and doom in the media about the death of the book or print in general, books have not and will not be obliterated by new technology.

Just like with other technological advances, new tools help change the way we do things but they do not always supplant others.  Radio was once the prime medium through which people received mass live or pre-recorded messages.  Television took this spot but we found a place for radio which remains a viable industry.

At 22 minutes, the video embedded below is long yet the message it delivers is one of hope for the print industry with a little bit of a reality check.

The earliest known attempt at printing dates back as far as 30,000 years and were wall drawings known as pictographs.  Ever since then printing has been all about change and innovation.  The print industry is involved in yet another stage of change, not extinction.

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