Just who is the publisher?

Most traditionalists would say that the person who owns the rights to the title, puts up the money to edit and format the book, pays for the printing, markets and sells the book is the publisher. That means if you are using publishing services you are the publisher. Companies like Blitzprint provide services which assist you publishing. Take pride in the fact that this is your book in every sense and wear the badge of publisher proudly, you earned it.

If, on the other hand, a company agrees to buy the rights of the title from you and take on the task of getting the book to market with their time, money and effort then they are the publisher and you have just been “published”.

Typically getting “published” involves sending query letters to many publishers in the hopes they will read and accept your manuscript for publication.

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What are some common legal terms I may come across?

  • Intellectual Property (IP) Rights – in all cases you will retain 100% of the IP rights for your title when using Blitzprint. You are free at any point to use any other service or printer. The only right we need to be given is the right to reproduce the title, without that we can’t legally print the book.
  • Copyright – Copyright law is a big topic and for any definitive answers you’re best to talk to a good intellectual property lawyer. But, the gist of it is this: copyright is implied at creation. If you write a novel, the copyright is “yours”. The challenge is establishing a timeline of “when” you created the novel, because in a copyright case, who came up with it first, will usually win.
  • Title – The title of your book is not subject to copyright and in all likelihood there are other books out there with the same title.
  • Liable – You are completely liable should your title infringe on someone’s copyright or contain defamatory statements.
  • Product or company names – Using a trademarked name in your novel is generally fine as long as it doesn’t appear to confuse the reader. Saying, “Bob took a sip of Coke” will not be a problem. Saying, “Bob, hopped in his brand new Coca-Cola roadster and drove off” will confuse the brand and might get you in trouble.
  • Contracts – You don’t actually have a contract with us, simply an agreement. Either party can exit at any point without penalty.

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