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Self-Publisher's Legal Handbook: Updated Guide to Protecting Your Rights and Wallet

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Building on the best-selling success of the original Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook, Helen Sedwick wrote this expanded second edition to help writers stay out of court and at their desks. Using 30 years of legal experience, Sedwick shows writers how to • Set up their business • Protect their copyright • Avoid infringement • Spot scams • Save on taxes This second edition c Building on the best-selling success of the original Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook, Helen Sedwick wrote this expanded second edition to help writers stay out of court and at their desks. Using 30 years of legal experience, Sedwick shows writers how to • Set up their business • Protect their copyright • Avoid infringement • Spot scams • Save on taxes This second edition covers additional topics including • Choosing a pen name • Using lyrics and images • Fighting content theft • Minimizing defamation and privacy risks • Expanding beyond the book Don’t lose your copyright by signing a bad contract, or waste money by buying into a scam, or lose sleep by getting sued for defamation. Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook helps writers navigate the legal aspects of writing and independent publishing.


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Building on the best-selling success of the original Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook, Helen Sedwick wrote this expanded second edition to help writers stay out of court and at their desks. Using 30 years of legal experience, Sedwick shows writers how to • Set up their business • Protect their copyright • Avoid infringement • Spot scams • Save on taxes This second edition c Building on the best-selling success of the original Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook, Helen Sedwick wrote this expanded second edition to help writers stay out of court and at their desks. Using 30 years of legal experience, Sedwick shows writers how to • Set up their business • Protect their copyright • Avoid infringement • Spot scams • Save on taxes This second edition covers additional topics including • Choosing a pen name • Using lyrics and images • Fighting content theft • Minimizing defamation and privacy risks • Expanding beyond the book Don’t lose your copyright by signing a bad contract, or waste money by buying into a scam, or lose sleep by getting sued for defamation. Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook helps writers navigate the legal aspects of writing and independent publishing.

30 review for Self-Publisher's Legal Handbook: Updated Guide to Protecting Your Rights and Wallet

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    THIS. BOOK, guys. If you are an indie author or looking to take that route, you need this book. It cleared up so many questions I had and explained things really well. I highly recommend this book so you can be fully equipped and prepared for the business of indie publishing. From copyright to contracts, and taxes to distributing your book and more.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily Conrad

    Helpful! This was a helpful overview of many questions that have come up as I've started to pursue indie publishing. I feel much more confident in my decisions now! Helpful! This was a helpful overview of many questions that have come up as I've started to pursue indie publishing. I feel much more confident in my decisions now!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Evans

    This book has more than legal advice. The author lays out the steps in starting an author business, with good details and examples. Very well researched and detailed, but the information is presented in a very clear way. I really wish I'd found this book when I first started my author business. It would've saved me a lot of time trying to gather this information from various sources all over the web. Some of the information I found online was outdated or incorrect. This second edition is updated This book has more than legal advice. The author lays out the steps in starting an author business, with good details and examples. Very well researched and detailed, but the information is presented in a very clear way. I really wish I'd found this book when I first started my author business. It would've saved me a lot of time trying to gather this information from various sources all over the web. Some of the information I found online was outdated or incorrect. This second edition is updated and expanded. I bought the paperback, and I'll be recommending this book to other writers. For a small investment, you can learn how to set up the author side of your business correctly. If you've already started your business, this is still a good read to figure out if you're headed in the right direction. And good reference for questions about copywrites, using images, and much more.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kenn Bivins

    For Every Serious Writer While this book is not considered to be legal advice, it contains valuable legal oversight of the publishing industry that every serious writer should know. I highly recommend this.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Apple

    Easy to follow I think the author laid this out in an easy to follow and understand format, and brought up a lot of answers to questions people commonly ask.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ronel Janse van Vuuren

    I got this book because I learned of it in this year’s Women in Publishing Summit and thought that it would be a good addition to my writing career library. A few of the chapters are truly important, though if you’ve been on the publishing landscape for a while you would have learned most of it on popular blogs/podcasts. Most of the legal and tax advice is US-centric. Which means it added nothing of value to me as a South African (I learned much more from a session at my local SARS office). There’ I got this book because I learned of it in this year’s Women in Publishing Summit and thought that it would be a good addition to my writing career library. A few of the chapters are truly important, though if you’ve been on the publishing landscape for a while you would have learned most of it on popular blogs/podcasts. Most of the legal and tax advice is US-centric. Which means it added nothing of value to me as a South African (I learned much more from a session at my local SARS office). There’s a lot of common-sense advice that I’m sure comes in handy for newbies. I like the cover. The layout is user-friendly. Though, there are a couple of typos/missing words throughout the book. The Appendix is a gem – totally worth getting the book. Star rating: Editing: 3 stars Premise: 5 stars Relevance: 3 stars Overall: 4 stars Total = 4 stars

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alex Everette

    ***I received this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway.*** When reading books of advice and suggestions, such as this, I’m firmly of the opinion that reading widely is your best bet. While one book can help to give you an idea at what work you’re facing down, reading a number of books on the topic allows you to compare and contrast the suggestions given and therefor to parse out which ideas are commonly agreed upon good business sense, which are contentious stances on a decision, and which seem ***I received this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway.*** When reading books of advice and suggestions, such as this, I’m firmly of the opinion that reading widely is your best bet. While one book can help to give you an idea at what work you’re facing down, reading a number of books on the topic allows you to compare and contrast the suggestions given and therefor to parse out which ideas are commonly agreed upon good business sense, which are contentious stances on a decision, and which seem to be the opinions of the author. With that said, Sedwick’s legal handbook will probably stay on a nearby bookshelf on standby for when I run into questions about the world of writing and publication and need a quick reference. It’s short enough and organized clearly enough that navigating it for the information I’m looking for is quick and simple. As I’ve said, I wouldn’t use it as a single source of information (and I doubt Sedwick would want us to), but it seems to serve as a fantastic jumping off point in order to identify what topics the reader needs to explore and research. I’ve mentioned that the organization is admirable, that the book is easy to navigate, and that it’s useful. All of this speaks well to the self-published work—I personally wouldn’t want self-publishing suggestions from somebody whose self-published work I couldn’t respect. I did find a handful of typos sprinkled throughout, which gave me pause, but by the end of the book I’d decided that the information and commentary were sound enough for me to maintain faith in the author, despite a mistake in editorial choices.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike Kowis

    I read the 1st edition of this book a few years ago and found it extremely helpful in my efforts to self-publish my first book. At that time, I happily gave it 5 stars. When I discovered the 2nd edition was published, I honestly didn't think there was any way to improve the original. But I was wrong! This 2nd edition is even better. If you haven't read either version, just get the 2nd edition and that will be all you need in my opinion. The 2nd edition does a great job of explaining the critical I read the 1st edition of this book a few years ago and found it extremely helpful in my efforts to self-publish my first book. At that time, I happily gave it 5 stars. When I discovered the 2nd edition was published, I honestly didn't think there was any way to improve the original. But I was wrong! This 2nd edition is even better. If you haven't read either version, just get the 2nd edition and that will be all you need in my opinion. The 2nd edition does a great job of explaining the critical topics that indie authors need to know before publishing their book, such as US copyright laws, setting up a legal entity for your author business, options for distributing and marketing your book, record-keeping info, basic tax requirements, etc. In a nutshell, this book covers the business side of book writing that most newbie authors are not aware of. That is why I say this book is a must-read for indie authors. Get this book. You won't be disappointed!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Lawrence

    Incredibly helpful guide for us writers trying to be business people in addition to our writing. There are things in here that I can't use YET, but I will definitely come back to when the time comes, so this will be a bit of a bible for me in my writing business. Useful even if you aren't going to self-publish, as there's information for writers getting paid, too, but absolutely wonderful for those of us trying to start a business. She's personable and obviously happy to help fellow writers. I a Incredibly helpful guide for us writers trying to be business people in addition to our writing. There are things in here that I can't use YET, but I will definitely come back to when the time comes, so this will be a bit of a bible for me in my writing business. Useful even if you aren't going to self-publish, as there's information for writers getting paid, too, but absolutely wonderful for those of us trying to start a business. She's personable and obviously happy to help fellow writers. I actually looked this book up after reading a guest blog post Sedwick did that helped while I was desperately exploring the legalities of my next step in writing. Fantastic resource for writers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Boris Slocum

    Nobody wants to need a lawyer. Hell, I'm a lawyer and have a hard time dealing with them. For that precise reason, good books like this are a godsend. It doesn't tell you everything you need to know, but it teaches just enough to start developing a spidey-sense about problems (like, can I use the phrase "spidey-sense" in my book, or is that copyrighted?) It's worth the few ducats to buy and the few hours it will take to read. You don't need to know the law, you just need to know when you might ne Nobody wants to need a lawyer. Hell, I'm a lawyer and have a hard time dealing with them. For that precise reason, good books like this are a godsend. It doesn't tell you everything you need to know, but it teaches just enough to start developing a spidey-sense about problems (like, can I use the phrase "spidey-sense" in my book, or is that copyrighted?) It's worth the few ducats to buy and the few hours it will take to read. You don't need to know the law, you just need to know when you might need a lawyer. This book helps with that.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lacey Kelley

    Wonderfully written! This book covers the legal aspects of every single stage of writing, and has answered so many questions that I've been asking myself for months! Sedwick writes it all in such an easily digestable way that I almost feel like a legal expert on writing now! Even better, she has lists of resources for everything, and even names some of the "resources" (aka scams, or wolves in sheep's clothing) that are just better to stay away from. I discovered this book via Jenna Moreci's newsle Wonderfully written! This book covers the legal aspects of every single stage of writing, and has answered so many questions that I've been asking myself for months! Sedwick writes it all in such an easily digestable way that I almost feel like a legal expert on writing now! Even better, she has lists of resources for everything, and even names some of the "resources" (aka scams, or wolves in sheep's clothing) that are just better to stay away from. I discovered this book via Jenna Moreci's newsletter and I'm so glad I did. I'll be refrencing it often.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Grace

    I first want to say thanks to Ten Gallon Press and Goodreads Giveaway for picking me to review this book. I really enjoyed this book. There is a lot of great information I would have never thought to do until after the fact. This book is going to save me a lot of headache, for that I am very grateful. I plan to give this book to a friend and amazing contemporary christian romance author Laura Hervey. She is one to watch!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bob Lankford

    Right On Target - Excellent advice This is an excellent book and we'll laid out. I think Helen was well prepared for this and I am most grateful for her work. I like the way she presented all the facts and then some. This is a great work of her craft and I am deeply appreciative of her making this book available. Thank you so much Helen. I would recommend this very highly to all authors and creators of art. Right On Target - Excellent advice This is an excellent book and we'll laid out. I think Helen was well prepared for this and I am most grateful for her work. I like the way she presented all the facts and then some. This is a great work of her craft and I am deeply appreciative of her making this book available. Thank you so much Helen. I would recommend this very highly to all authors and creators of art.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    More than a guide to the legal ramifications of self-publishing, this includes a lot of the basics of how to self-publish - marketing, printing, using contractors. It's clearly and engagingly written, and it includes massive amounts of well-researched helpful advice in a short, readable format. Highly recommended. More than a guide to the legal ramifications of self-publishing, this includes a lot of the basics of how to self-publish - marketing, printing, using contractors. It's clearly and engagingly written, and it includes massive amounts of well-researched helpful advice in a short, readable format. Highly recommended.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rae Graham

    I read large segments at a time while taking notes, because that's just what I do when I want to know something. I've obviously spent too much time in school 😅 It was a lot to take at once, but the information was very helpful with many topics I had never considered before. Overall, I feel much more prepared to start off as an indie! I read large segments at a time while taking notes, because that's just what I do when I want to know something. I've obviously spent too much time in school 😅 It was a lot to take at once, but the information was very helpful with many topics I had never considered before. Overall, I feel much more prepared to start off as an indie!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tammie Painter

    Decent information on the business side of writing, but rather thin on the legal side. I picked this up looking for information about a legal question. The question was answered...and then completely contradicted two pages later. For a book that's about professionalism, there's also a disappointing number of typos (one paragraph had an entire sentence repeating twice). Decent information on the business side of writing, but rather thin on the legal side. I picked this up looking for information about a legal question. The question was answered...and then completely contradicted two pages later. For a book that's about professionalism, there's also a disappointing number of typos (one paragraph had an entire sentence repeating twice).

  17. 5 out of 5

    B K Hoffman

    Exactly what are the rules of self publishing and what are your rights. Helen Sedwick took readers comments and updated her manual for publishing. I found that it was very readable, and a good reference for writers who want to publish.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Billijo Link

    This slim handbook provides a broad overview helping the self-publishing author and creative in “…minimizing legal risks and errors.” The appendix of ‘Understanding Key Contract Terms’ was a bonus that I didn’t know I wanted/needed until I read it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Thea Alger

    Good book for new authors Great advice. I’m just starting out and reading this book was perfect timing. I’m almost ready to publish but then started reading to get a better idea of the business side of self publishing. Good thing I did. I learned a lot

  20. 4 out of 5

    Highweirdness

    Absolutely fantastic in that it clearly explained answers to questions I have been developing. I learned a lot from this, and can clearly see I have some work ahead of me to figure out a business plan. I am glad I stumbled across this while reading other author-friendly self-publishing resources.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Johannes

    Self help Looking for information to help me better understand the business side of publishing, I am glad I came across this book. An easy read. Highly recommend anyone interested in book publishing should give this a try.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    This book was very helpful and will come in handy. I received book free in a Goodreads giveaway.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Overwhelming, but it's good to have all this information in one place, rather than trying to remember on my own all the stuff I'm supposed to be looking up and figuring out before I publish. Overwhelming, but it's good to have all this information in one place, rather than trying to remember on my own all the stuff I'm supposed to be looking up and figuring out before I publish.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michael Swanson

    An excellent overview and primer for self-publishers.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paty Jager

    Answered many of the questions I needed answered.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeff shnall

    Informative, clearly written, very useful info for indie writers to set up their writing business on proper legal footing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Butcher

    Outstanding Lots of Good information presented in a good format. Really helpful for any Indie Author or up and coming self published author.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Bunting

    An absolute must read / must own for anyone self-publishing. This is geared towards American law, but does have some great information for non-Americans as well.

  29. 4 out of 5

    T.A. Bruno

    Great source of information for anyone seeking to self publish a novel. Helen Sedwick does a great job keeping the legalese understandable and even fun to read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    A very clear guide to the basics of legal issues faced by writers.

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