In this week’s show I interview legal expert Helen Sedwick (author of the Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook ). I ask her a variety of questions about legal matters to do with self-publishing, namely:
- Do you NEED to register copyright for a book in the US? What benefits do you get for registering a copyright?
- How much of another person’s work can you use and it be considered “fair use”?
- What is the situation with including pictures in our books? I’ve heard of Creative Commons and free image websites – is there anything to be wary of when including these in a book?
- If you hire a designer to create a book cover for you and they use images they don’t have the rights for, who is liable for this, you or the designer?
- In terms of self-publishing services and publishing deals what should independent authors be wary of in terms of contract clauses?
- What is the most avoidable legal mistake that an indie author can make when publishing their book?
- What is the most costly legal mistake that an indie author can make when publishing their book, and is there anything they can do to avoid it?
She also mentions that she has a free cheat-sheet style resources available on her website helensedwick.com and if you need a California-based lawyer for anything related to publishing then she is the person to talk to.