Title: Protect Your Work because No One Else Will!
When you have an idea you want to protect it as best as you can, especially if you feel it is something that people will like. This is where Copyrights come into play. We live in a litigious society so knowing this we have to do our best to protect ourselves. Copyrights are not to be confused with trademarks and patents. Each one is totally different. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs that define and distinguish you from someone else. The Nike symbol is a perfect example of a trademark. When we see it we know it’s Nike. Patents are protection for inventions. I’m going to discuss what a copyright is. Why it is important (besides the obvious reason) and where authors can obtain one.
According to the US Copy Right Office a copyright is “a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S.Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. Titles and character names cannot be copyrighted. So do not be surprised if you find a title the same as yours or characters with the same names as yours. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works (copyright.gov). The protection is for you the author in case someone decides to steal your work or if someone says that you stole their work.
Filing a copy right is simple. When filing online do not use google to find the website. A lot of sites will pop up. There is only one website associated with the government. It is Copyright.gov. You do not have to register with the site to obtain a copyright. Once your work is completed then your work is copyrighted. Use of the @ is sufficient enough. Or you can do a poor man’s copyright where you send a copy of your work to yourself. These methods do not protect you if lawsuits arise. The registration process is just to have physical proof that your work is protected in case something happens such as a lawsuit brought by you or against you. You can also pre-register your work.
Now that I have defined what a copyright is and where to get one, it makes perfect sense to obtain one. We work so hard to create songs, books, pictures why let someone else come along and steal what you worked so hard for. Any serious author knows this. If you are a new author or aspiring author I hope you take heed to this advice. $35 for a copyright will save you a headache and loss of money if someone decides to steal your work.
Writing isn’t a hobby for me. If it is for you then fine you may not want to invest in copyrights. But if you are writing because you enjoy it and see it as a career then you need treat your craft like a business! Protect your work cause no one else will!
Independent Authors Join Forces with Dream Pathways Kids READ to Help Raise Books for At-Risk Children & Teens Living in Atlanta
Thanks to contributions received locally and from caring hearts all across the country, we exceeded our goal and raised a total of $105 and collected over 300 books that were distributed to children, teens, and young adults living in at-risk neighborhoods throughout Atlanta over the Christmas Holidays.
Please help us continue in our mission by spreading the word and sharing the following link with your friends and family: http://www.gofundme.com/donatekidsbooks
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Tivona Elliott was born in Wichita, Kansas on July 30, 1976. Growing up she loved to write. She found out writing was her get away from the realities of her life.
She was raised by her grandmother who taught her how to be strong. Without the knowledge and prayers of her grandmother, she would have never made it. Living life in Brothels and learning how to hustle from her uncles gave her the wisdom to survive in the streets. The one thing she knew was how to hustle. Deciding to get out the business of pimps and prostitutes she traveled looking for love. True love is what she wanted, but never found. The only person she ever felt who loved her was her grandmother. Not receiving the love she wanted from her parents she turned to the streets and ended up gang banging, selling drugs, doing drugs, selling her soul and living a life of corruption. In and out of relationships, trying to find love, Tivona knew there was a better life out there for her. Livin the Fast Life was not something she wanted to do for the rest of her life; she knew she had to slow down and find out what her calling was.
Writing and keeping journals were her passion. Through her trials and tribulations she needed something to give her an out. She needed to be able to express herself without hurting the one's she loved. No matter what was going on in her life, her journals would be destroyed. Now, she realizes that words on the paper have a powerful meaning. Still afraid of sharing her story, she continued writing in her journal.
In 2003, Tivona moved to Texas, hoping to make a better life for herself. Getting extremely sick and the doctors not being sure what was wrong with her, Tivona became unable to work. Not knowing what she was going to do, she knew hustling was always something she would have to fall back on. Now, she wants to hustle the right way. Not knowing where to begin, she heard a sermon from Joyce Meyer saying if you can't get a job, create a job. She knows now she has to create work for herself. Writing has always been her passion, and she knew it was time for her to tell her story.
In 2010, Tivona published her first novel, Livin' the Fast Life. Not sure where to begin, she took her book on the road, selling it out the trunk of her car. While on the road, she got sicker. Blacking out, Tivona was rushed to the hospital. She discovered she had Lupus, but her courage, strength, and wisdom, would not allow her to stop living her dreams. She continues to pursue her dreams and encourages others to do the same. Writing is her life.
Synopsis- Livin' the Fast Life
Take a journey with Kenya Gardner as she lives the fast life.
Sex, Lies, Drugs, Seduction, Betrayal and Love… Kenya finds herself in the center of the fast life. No matter what life throws at Kenya, she stays true to her money.
Based on a true story, Kenya will take you in a world of corruption. Will Kenya stay in the game, get out the game, or find the love she seeks? Find out in this raving novel as Kenya lives the fast life.
Writer’s Name: Sheri Henry
Title: Self-Published Authors, BEWARE!
Writing a book is hard work. Everyone has a story to tell. However everyone should not become a writer. Writing is a craft that takes time to perfect. Some people don’t have the time or patience and rush things. While that may work for some time, in the long run, it won’t help to build a career as a writer.
We all make mistakes. It’s human nature to sometimes jump into things without knowing. Being an author is a career and should be treated as such. When you have a career you take it very seriously. If you don’t take it seriously how do you expect others to view you and your product? There are so many mistakes that people make when publishing their first books. However instead of learning from them they keep making them. My main goal in this article is to help prevent these things from happening by educating and
informing people. Some of these things I learned firsthand. Some of them my colleagues have gone through. If any of these mistakes were made by anyone, know that it is ok. Some things just aren’t acceptable for serious authors.
Planning is important. Once your book is produced now what? In order to sell the books you must know a few key factors. Who is your target audience? How much do you plan to spend to market your book? Where will you market your book? These things are important. If your genre is romance then you shouldn’t be targeting the urban/street lit genre. Marketing material cost money. Every author should have business cards. Then there are postcards and other promotional material. As far as where to market your book, social media isn’t the only place. People make the mistake of just marketing on Facebook. Everyone does not have a Facebook account. Now what? Don’t miss out on sales due to poor or no planning.
We all want to be rich one day. Putting out one book does not guarantee that your sales will make you millions. We all have to start from the bottom to reach the top. It can be done but will it happen overnight? No! Hard work, dedication, and patience will turn into a nice amount of cash. But once again it will
not happen overnight.
Research is key in the self-publishing business. There is no reason why with all these search engines that people are wandering around blind. Google is your friend. No I am not saying to completely go with Google but look up what you want to know and then ask. Publishers, editors, graphic designers are all busy people and do not have time for answering questions that can be easily searched. I had an author inquire with me about writing a book under my publishing company. No problem until I asked her what genre she wrote under. She asked me“What does genre mean?” Conversation was over because I don’t have the time to answer
questions like that. Not to be mean but people are busy. There is a difference between helping and hand holding.
There is no place for arrogance in any business. I believe that at all times authors should humble themselves. Criticism comes with the industry. If you can’t take it then you don’t belong in this industry. The mistake of first time authors is believing that people are hating because they didn’t like the book. Accept the criticism and if it is worthwhile use it to perfect your craft! Author beef or author/reader beef is so inappropriate and in my opinion is career suicide.
There is no rush to put out a product. Rushing, means that your quality of work will be lower than if you had waited. Every day self-published authors release books. You are in competition with them all. So what is going to make you stand out? Take your time and do it right the first time. If not you may have to spend a lot of money to republish a book. Don’t make this costly mistake.
Serious authors are not lazy. They know that the time and sacrifice they make now will pay off in the long run. I have heard of a few horrible trends going on in the publishing industry. Self editing is not recommended even for editors themselves. That is career suicide. Why kill your career before you even get on your way? Stop being lazy and research editors and graphic designers. Quality matters a lot because you will be judged off of cover and your words.
It is so easy to be taken advantage of when you don’t know. Everyone claiming to be someone in the industry sometimes isn’t. When you choose to do work with someone make sure to check out their references and website. If they have neither to provide you then you better run for the hills! Everything that
glitters isn’t gold. This is a mistake that has cost some people a lot of money.
Contracts are very important legal documents that determine a lot for authors. Even if you self-publish at one point a contract is to be signed. Contracts are not to be taken lightly. Read them understand them and then sign. Don’t sign and then read it. Oftentimes people sign contracts and then wonder why they are not receiving services or payments. In those instances whatever you signed and paid for is what you get. If you signed and did not get what you signed for then get a lawyer and start a case for breach of contract. Civil
cases take long so please read to avoid all of these issues!
One mistake a lot of new authors make happens as a result of not knowing when to start building their brand. I have been asked several times when should they start promoting themselves. My suggestion is to start before you have a product. Network yourself and your product. Most sales come from word of mouth. How can people find you if you don’t put yourself out there! Don’t be shy, get out there and sell yourself.
As a self- published author I have come to realize you cannot do it all. Some authors swear by it but to me that isn’t a smart choice. Cutting cost isn’t smart. If you as an author want people to invest in you then you must invest in yourself! You have to spend money to make money.
Being a self published author is not easy. It’s not impossible either. You have to be willing to learn, accept criticism and perfect your craft. Being different is important! Don’t follow others do what you want and
create your own brand.
I remember the day my life changed from; what I considered normal. It was a Sunday night and my two year old daughter had just returned home with Stephan. After giving her a bath I laid her on the bed and started to lotion her down when she said to me “Daddy put his poo in Katie poo and put his poo in my poo”. Katie was one of the little girls that came over to visit regularly that I found to be one of Stephan’s victims. As the blood rushed to my feet I walked into the living room and told her father what she told me. Instantly he denied it and tried to explain to me that she just loves her daddy and that sometimes a little girl will fantasize about their daddy in a romantic way. Did I mention she was two at the time?
At that point I realized that these were my babies and it was my job to protect them from the man that had his way with me and controlled my life for fourteen years. I tossed and turned all night thinking of a plan to protect my daughter. The next day I was in school crying when a voice in my head said “KILL HIM!” I went home with vengeance in my heart, never taking into consideration that if I had killed him and went to jail I would not have anyone to care for my babies. I was 18 years old and I didn’t have the maturity or experience that it took for me to examine the situation or think about the consequences of my actions.
I walked into the house and he was asleep on the couch. I had not decided on my weapon of choice yet but I remembered thinking of getting a butcher knife and stabbing him. Before I could finish my thought there was a knock on the door. I opened the door and a heavy set dark skinned guy with big pink lips asked “Is Stephan here?” I walked into the living room and told Stephan someone was at the door for him. He asked me who was at the door and I responded, “I have no idea”. As he got up off the couch and walked to the door half asleep I became annoyed that my plan to cut his penis off and watch him bleed to death was ruined. I had already pictured giving myself up willingly to the police with a smirk on my face. I turned to see what was going on at the door and all I saw were white socks being snatched out of the door. This huge guy grabbed Stephan by his neck, snatched him out the door and dragged him down the stairs into a waiting car. Another guy that was just as big as the guy that knocked on the door was standing next to the car. Stephan was shoved into the car and sandwiched in between both men. Without knowing, but knowing, I knew exactly why that drama just went down........
As I tried to cry for help once more, the pain in my head worsened. Then strangely, I felt a weird sensation as though my body wanted to drift away. Darkness slowly covered the sky like a window shade, fading everything black.
“Mista,” said a child’s voice, as I returned to consciousness. “Mista? You’re okay now!”
When my eyes focused, I was stunned to see this light-skinned Colored boy with sandy brown hair standing on my property. The boy appeared to be about six or seven, wearing clothes my nephew’s son would normally wear. Yes, the same colorful t-shirt with blue jeans. In his eyes, I noticed a familiarity as if I’d seen him somewhere before.
Amazingly, I was able to get up off the grass, but still wondered whom this child was. “Boy, where you come from?” I firmly asked.
The boy laughed, ignoring my seething intimidation. So I tried again, but this time I stepped closer to him. Looking down onto his tiny body and squinting, I approached him with a firmer tone. “Boy, you got five seconds to get off from my land,” I snapped.
Where did he come from? I wondered, as he, again, ignored my daunting words by laughing them off. Then that kid did something weird. He extended his hand, asking me to come with him. I was stunned and didn’t know what to make of him. Is this boy connected to some of my enemies in town? Is he lost? Or is he just mental?
Once more, I tried to scare him. “Look, boy, didn’t I say get off my land?” I yelled.
The boy didn’t move. He only chuckled.
“That does it,” I huffed, stomping off to my house to get my shotgun to scare him for good, but when I tried to open the screen door, the strangest thing happened. The front door disappeared, and the screen door was nailed shut. I pulled and shook the screen until I thought of running to the backdoor. As I continued my mission to get inside, I noticed from the reflection in the window that something was different. My whitish gray hair had reverted to its original brunette color, and my wrinkly face was ironed out with a youthful glow. Even my limbs were limber as it felt like I was in my twenties.
“What the hell?” I gasped, feeling my face. “What’s going on here?”
Out of confusion, I looked at the little boy. Is this some sort of dream?
I looked beyond the white picket fence to discover the neighborhood I’d known for over fifty years was gone. There were no cars driving down the street, no houses, or paved roads. There was only a dirt road framed with an abundance of trees lining the pathway. Being puzzled was an understatement. I was petrified.
“Where am I? And who are you, boy?”
Again, the boy extended his hand and answered in his tiny voice. “You’re earthly life is over. It’s time for you to begin your journey.”
In commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, this book will be available as a free download on Amazon for this weekend only, January 19 - 21st.
UBAWA is taking pride in and honoring black women of color for the month of February. This is the perfect feature for any AA female author, writer, or poet. To become a part of this feature, please send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP with the subject heading: BLACK FEMALE AUTHOR FEATURE
2. Author Headshot
3. 3rd Person Author Bio
4. Book Description/Synopsis
5. Book Cover Photo
6. Website/Purchase Link
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In other words, what is he bringing to the table besides himself? For married
couples, this book will force you to look into introspection (examining
yourselves) and retrospection (examining your past to see where you went wrong
and what you can do going forward to fix it). The key to a long lasting
relationship is establishing intimacy, which means knowing if he/she is "into
you" body, mind, and spirit. We will leave the lights on a bit longer to begin
the emotional and spiritual journey towards a better you and a better
relationship with your mate.
Mini Author Bio: Quiniece Sheppard is the author
of “The Seven Deadly Sexual Sins,” published in April 2009l; co-author of an
e-book anthology titled “Christmas is More than a Myth: There is a Reason for
the Season, published as a free e-book in December 2010; and author of an e-book
entitled “Walking the Path to Real Love: 12 Steps to Practicing Abstinence and
Celibacy, published as a free e-book in January 2011. Ms. Sheppard’s second
book titled “Before the Lights Go Out: 11 keys to Achieve Real Physical Intimacy
will was published in March 2011. Currently, Ms. Sheppard is working on forming
an online Christian book club for African American self publishers and
independent authors. Ms. Sheppard is founder/CEO of “I Am the Chase Ministries,
LLC”: a single women’s ministry whose mission is to promote abstinence and
celibacy. Ms. Sheppard wants to help every woman define and understand her
self-worth and value so she can live out her purpose and destiny. Ms. Sheppard
has spoken at several women’s conferences, a parent-teen retreat speaking on
abstinence, held her own seminar in September 2010 and will be holding her first
single women’s conference in April 2011. Ms. Sheppard currently resides in
Alexandria, VA but frequently travels as a motivational speaker to deliver
messages of inspiration, transformation and enlightenment to make a lasting
impact to audiences everywhere. Ms. Sheppard speaks at workshops, conferences,
seminars, book clubs, churches, youth groups and
*What led up to you becoming an author? It was a calling placed on me by the
Lord to not only write books, but to start my own single women's
*How long did it take you to complete your book? About 2
*Is there a particular message in your books you would like for your readers to
grasp? The message that relationships can last "until death do
you part" and that God is the answer to
*What is your biggest inspiration for writing?
*If you could give one piece of advice to an up and coming author, what would it be?
Find out the reason why you are writing and to whom you would like to
read your book.
*What do you have planned next? I have an upcoming speaking engagement, planning a virtual book signing and then next
year, I will be going on a spring book
*How can readers, publishers, and others in the literary community reach
you?Reach me at my website at www.iamthechase.com for book signings and
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