How To Copyright Your Work


One of the things to do after you finish your opus. The other thing to do is to begin Opus #2. From The Library of Congress, U.S. Copyright Office:

“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. This
protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106
of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive
right to do and to authorize others to do the following:
• reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords.
• prepare derivative works based upon the work.
• distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other
transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.
• perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and
choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual
• display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work.
• perform the work publicly (in the case of sound recordings*) by means of a digital audio transmission.”

There’s more info here.

Another Self-Publishing Success Story

From the Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish, a story that makes people like me salivate:

I spent years shopping my novel to publishers and agents; after reaching the end of my patience I dumped the book into the Kindle Bookstore expecting only my mother to buy it.

I did no marketing. Somehow (I’m still not quite sure how) the word spread.

There’s more. . .

Missing A Kiss I Never Got


A little set up first:

Thirteen year-old Paco Serrano is leaving his native Cuba for the United States. His parents exit visa has just been approved after an eight year wait. As part of the travel requirements, Paco has to go to his school and obtain a letter from Maximo Alarico. He is the much-feared, mean-spirited, dictatorial, school Principal. While Cecilia Sanchez, Mr. Alarico’s secretary prepares the papers, Juli Solanes, Paco’s first love, shows up. She is the daughter of prominent members of the Communist Party who did no approved of their young relationship.

Paco and Juli had a brief romance nonetheless, but they had never kissed…

I stared at the wall when Cecilia returned to her desk.  I heard her pull her chair, stick the paper in the typewriter and start typing.  She didn’t say a word and I didn’t look in her direction.  I kept my eyes in the world map above her, my eyes falling in North America and focusing on the golden shape of the United States.  Florida looked like an index finger pointing down at Cuba.

I didn’t know how much time had passed when Cecilia got up from her chair and walked to the rear of the office.  She did not look at me.  After a few seconds I heard her thank Maximo.  She returned and was handing me the signed papers when someone knocked on the outside door.  We both looked at the door at the same time.

“Who is it?” Cecilia asked.

“Juliana Solanes,” came the response from the other side.

I dropped the papers when I heard Juli’s voice.  Cecilia and I bent down at the same time to pick them up, bumping our foreheads.

“Shit!” Cecilia squealed, rubbing her forehead.

“I am so sorry!” I said.

“Miss Sanchez, what’s going on?” Maximo yelled from his office.

“Nothing!” Cecilia and I answered at the same time, the same amount of fear in our voices.

Juli knocked on the door for a second time.

“Get the door then, Miss Sanchez,” Maximo yelled again.

When Cecilia opened the door I was standing directly behind her.

“Hello, Miss Sanchez.  I am here to get my assignment for today,” Juli said.

I peeked from behind Cecilia, smiling.  Juli opened her eyes a little wider and then she smiled back at me.

“Hi Juli.  I’ll get the volunteer list.  Come on in.” Cecilia said and she turned, finding me on her way.  We moved in the same direction as we tried to go around each other. “Will you get out of my way?!” she whispered, exasperated.

“I’m trying!”

When we ended our little weird dance, I saw that Juli was still smiling.

“I heard the news from Doris. When are you leaving?” she asked.

“Saturday.  Tomorrow.”

“I’m sorry,” Juli said.

I got closer to her and looked in the direction of Maximo’s office before I answered.

“Yeah, me too.”

Cecilia was holding a notebook and making notes as she spoke to Juli from behind her desk.

“Your team meets in the chemistry lab.  Miss Lazo is your leader and she has the specifics of your assignment.”

“Thank you,” Juli said without lifting her eyes from mine, “Well, if I don’t see you later, I think this might be goodbye.”

“I’ll be around later, just in case you…” I said.

“Just in case I don’t see you later, I’ll say goodbye now.”

Juli moved a step closer and I realized she was going to kiss me.  I closed my eyes waiting for her lips.

Before they landed on mine, I heard Cecilia clear her throat.

“Miss Solanes, come into my office,” Maximo’s voice came from behind me, unpleasant like a chill crawling up the spine, “I must speak to you.  This minute.”

I didn’t look back.  Juli walked past me.  A fragrance, like soft piano notes, went trailing after her.  I stood for a brief moment, looking at the papers in my hand.  I took a couple of steps with no specific place in mind.  Cecilia closed the door behind me the moment I stepped outside.

Across the hallway, the painter and his assistant were sitting across from each other, smoking cigarettes and talking about the job still to be done.  I turned to the plaza without covering my head from the rain.  When I walked past the window in Maximo’s office, I looked for Juli but only saw my own distorted reflection on the dripping glass slots.  By the time I reached the street, I had slowed my steps, hoping to hear Juli’s voice reaching me through the raindrops, calling me to wait for her.  When I got to the corner and turned towards Main Street, the belief that I would hear Juli call my name was disappearing with each step I took, as I walked on.

“Go The F*#k to Sleep”: A Book Goes Viral


Go The Fuck To Sleep sold 100,000 copies, before going on sale. From Reyhan Harmanci on The Bay Citizen:

The phenomenon of music and video piracy has been around seemingly since the Internet’s invention — it’s a well-known scourge that has driven the recording industry to pricey lawsuits and the rest of the world to Pirate Bay and BitTorrent.

But it seems that book publishing has a new issue on its hands: the viral book PDF.

There’s more…

(H/t Sully)

And the Winner is: RANDOM HOUSE!

Random House Tower
Image via Wikipedia


After a monthlong standoff, Random House said on Tuesday that it now held the rights to publish e-book editions of 13 classic books that the literary agent Andrew Wylie had defiantly begun publishing last month under his own digital venture, Odyssey Editions.

Random House also said it would immediately resume doing new business with the Wylie Agency. Since July 22, the publisher has refused to acquire new books from the Wylie Agency and its more than 700 clients.

“We are pleased to announce that the Wylie Agency and Random House have resolved our differences over the disputed Random House titles which have been included in the Odyssey Editions e-book publishing program,” said a joint statement signed by Markus Dohle, the chairman and chief executive of Random House, and Mr. Wylie. It added: “We both are glad to be able to put this matter behind us.”

There’s more from the NY Times…

Is E-Reading Here to Stay?

From The Associated Press, via The New York Times:

The marriage of an American technology firm and a Taiwanese display panel manufacturer has helped make digital reading a prospective challenger to paper as the main medium for transmitting printed information.Four years ago Cambridge, Mass.-based E Ink Corporation and Taiwan’s Prime View International Co. hooked up to create an e-paper display that now supplies 90 percent of the fast growing e-reader market.

The Taiwanese involvement has led some observers to compare e-reading to the Chinese technological revolution 2,000 years ago in which newly invented paper replaced the bulky wooden blocks and bamboo slats on which Chinese characters were written.

There’s more…

The Not-So-Free Free Textbook


Via the Technology section of The New York Times:

INFURIATING Scott G. McNealy has never been easier. Just bring up math textbooks.

Mr. McNealy, the fiery co-founder and former chief executive of Sun Microsystems, shuns basic math textbooks as bloated monstrosities: their price keeps rising while the core information inside of them stays the same.

“Ten plus 10 has been 20 for a long time,” Mr. McNealy says.

Early this year, Oracle, the database software maker, acquired Sun for $7.4 billion, leaving Mr. McNealy without a job. He has since decided to aim his energy and some money at Curriki, an online hub for free textbooks and other course material that he spearheaded six years ago.

There’s more…