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And the people stayed home (a poem about the 2020 pandemic)

by Kitty O'Meara

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.
And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.
Some met their shadows.

And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.




And no, the poem wasn't written in 1869, during the Irish famine, or in 1918, during the Spanish flu epidemic. It was written during the 2020 coronavirus epidemic. 

Kitty O'Meara, Author of "And the People Stayed Home," Opens Up About Writing That Viral Poem ~ Elena Nicolaou, Oprah, 3-19-2020

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Covering the COVID-19 pandemic: Resources for journalists

Updated 6-24-2020

Reliable sources for updates on COVID-19
Coronavirus: Resources for reporters (First Draft News)
AP Stylebook tips on the coronavirus (Kristen Hare, Poynter, 3-4-2020) For example: "Because COVID-19 is the name of the disease, not the virus, it is not accurate to write a new virus called COVID-19. Instead: A new virus caused a disease called COVID-19....The virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2, given by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses....COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2.
Tipsheet: Covering the Coronavirus Epidemic Effectively Without Spreading Misinformation (Laura Helmuth, The Open Notebook, 3-2-2020)
Tip sheet can aid your reporting on COVID-19 serology/antibody testing (Tara Haelle, Covering Health, AHCJ, 5-5-2020).
How To Know If You Can Trust That Headline-Grabbing COVID-19 Study (Rachel Fairbank, Lifehacker,4-29-2020) In an analysis of 14 different antibody tests, performed by a team of more than 50 scientists, only three produced consistently reliable results. And of these 14 different tests, only one didn’t generate false positives.
On Covid-19, a Respected Science Watchdog Raises Eyebrows (Michael Schulson, Undark, 4-24-2020) For his Covid-19 work, the Stanford scientist John Ioannidis is being accused of the same bad science he has criticized.
Journalists are recognizing they’re writing a rough draft of history – and can’t say definitively ‘that’s the way it is’ (Kevin M. Lerner, The Conversation, 4-13-2020) Journalists have historically done a bad job of explaining to the public that each day’s news report is, by necessity, incomplete and provisional. The question about masks is just one rapidly shifting element among a wide-ranging group of stories whose facts are updated daily, if not hourly. With one paragraph, the Los Angeles Times admitted that its information was incomplete and subject to revision. “One thing to keep in mind before we continue: It is possible that the information you read below will be contradicted in the coming weeks or that gaps in knowledge today will soon be filled as scientists continue to study the virus.”
"News organizations, intent on projecting authority and knowledge, rarely admit their fallibility or lack of omniscience....If the rest of the press likewise acknowledges that today’s truth is not a finished story and audiences begin to demand that sort of transparency, then as trust builds between journalists and the public, a mutual understanding of the facts and, ultimately, the truth can emerge."
Phases of clinical trials (National Comprehensive Cancer Network). With dozens of clinical trials competing for the market for effective Covid-19 treatment, it is important to understand what each of four phases covers. Phase I trials, for example, test only for safety, not for whether the virus works, no matter what a firm's press release says. See similar explanations from University of Michigan HealthWikipedia (which has a useful chart)
Coronavirus: The good, the bad, and the practical Many topics covered.
Amy Maxmen Unveils Scientific Roadblocks Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic (Katherine J. Wu, The Open Notebook, 6-2-2020) Maxmen documents the process and progress and setbacks of science. And, with both Ebola and COVID-19, the places where science and society intersect. Or, as Katherine Wu writes, where biology and medicine "collide with politics, economics, and social justice."
Stephanie Lee Unravels the Conflicts of Interest Behind a Controversial COVID-19 Study (Katherine J. Wu, The Open Notebook, 6-23-2020) Lee has become BuzzFeed News’s go-to person on COVID-19 antibody tests—clinical assays that search patients’ blood for immune molecules that recognize SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus. In mid-May 2020, she broke one of her biggest stories yet: JetBlue’s Founder Helped Fund a Stanford Study That Said the Coronavirus Wasn’t That Deadly (BuzzFeed, 5-15-2020) "After obtaining a whistleblower’s complaint, filed with Stanford University, Lee reported that the study had been funded in part by JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman, who has publicly proclaimed that SARS-CoV-2 fears are overblown and that we need to reopen the American economy. The lengthy document contained dozens of screenshotted emails batted between the researchers behind the study and their colleagues, some of whom expressed concerns about the antibody test—complaints that Ioannidis and others allegedly ignored. Lee’s piece went, well, viral....Here, Lee tells Katherine J. Wu about her deep dive into the whistleblower's complaint, and how she navigates the ethics of investigative reporting."
Covering the coronavirus amid infection, misinformation and scared sources (Emilia Díaz-Struck, Scilla Alecci, Will Fitzgibbon, Jelena Cosic, Delphine Reuter, and others, Press Freedom, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, 5-7-2020) Journalists covering the coronavirus from Hungary to Chile are not only faced with the risk of contagion. They are battling secretive governments, restricted movement, misinformation and sources who are too scared to speak.  (Scroll to bottom for links to more fact-checking sites.)
Is CMS putting older adults at increased risk during the pandemic? (Liz Seegert, Covering Health AHCJ, 6-17-2020) Here are some questions to answer when reporting on long-term care facilities and COVID-19.
How can states keep nursing home residents safe during the pandemic? (Liz Seegert, Covering Health, AHCJ, 4-30-2020) An important round-up of info on resources, trends, sources.
Amid Confusion About Reopening, An Expert Explains How To Assess COVID-19 Risk (Terry Gross interviews epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, founder and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Fresh Air, 6-17-2020) 41-minute listen with transcript of interview highlights.
COVID-19 Reporting Resources: Experts from ScienceWriters conferences (Council for the Advancement of Science Writing)
Combatting the Misinformation Epidemic/Campaign (Comfortdying.com) See also The latest conspiracy theories.
10 tips for journalists covering COVID-19 (Taylor Mulcahey, International Journalism Network, 3-5-2020)
Journalism in pandemic: online training for thousands of international journalists (Gary Schwitzer, Health News Review, 5-2020)
AHCJ freelancers give advice on COVID-19 coverage (Sources, studies and self-care) (Carolyn Crist, Covering Health, AHCJ, 5-12-2020)
New York Times reporter calls Pence a ‘sycophant.’ The newspaper says he ‘went too far.’ (Erik Wemple, Opinion, Washington Post, 5-12-12-) Appearing for an interview with CNN's *Christiane Amanpour*, the NYTimes's science and health reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. -- who was well ahead of the curve with his warnings about the pandemic -- said he believed CDC director *Robert Redfield* "should resign" and that VP Mike Pence is a "sycophant." Did he go too far?

     The NYT agreed with that assessment. In a statement, a spokesperson for the paper said McNeil "went too far in expressing his personal views. His editors have discussed the issue with him"  to reiterate that his job is to report the facts and not to offer his own opinions. We are confident that his reporting on science and medicine for The Times has been scrupulously fair and accurate.?<<

    Journalist Bob Roehr commented in a NASW discussion on McNeil writing "that was because of incompetent leadership at the CDC, I'm sorry to say — it's a great agency, but it's incompetently led, and I think Dr. Redfield should resign."

     Roehr wrote: "The test was not developed by Redfield but by the lifers in the agency who failed big time, chiefly because they suffer from the not-invented-here complex that did not take advantage of the work done elsewhere by others; they insisted in developing their own test when it was not needed. Redfield's failure was the trust he placed in those employees.

     "Overall the CDC has been a troubled agency for several decades that consistently takes a defensive posture and is not responsive to journalists. It still suffers PTSD from being politically kicked around for its early HIV work and anything having to do with sex." 

Editors’ Roundtable: Managing Pandemic Coverage (The Open Notebook, 5-7-2020) For editors who oversee their newsrooms’ coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis has brought extraordinary challenges, from prioritizing stories when faced with a daily flood of possibilities, to protecting reporters’ health and well-being at a time of tremendous strain—all while working remotely, in many cases for the first time. Here five editors who are managing their publications’ coronavirus coverage took part in a wide-ranging roundtable discussion via email with TON editor-in-chief Siri Carpenter. (Participants: Eliza Barclay, science, health, and climate editor at Vox; Martin Enserink, international news editor at Science; Laura Helmuth, editor-in-chief at Scientific American, and formerly health and science editor at The Washington Post; Jude Isabella, editor-in-chief at Hakai Magazine; and Sarah Zielinski, managing editor at Science.) News for Students. These TON resources may help.
CPJ Safety Advisory: Covering the coronavirus outbreak(Committee to Protect Journalists, updated 4-6-2020) Detailed practical advice about how to protect yourself while covering this story. See also (and especially) CPJ’s interviews with journalists covering the pandemic.
COVID-19 Reporting Diaries: March 25–31, 2020 (Shira Feder, TheOpenNotebook, 4-7-2020) "Nothing that has come before in the infectious-diseases beat is remotely as huge as this story," says STAT reporter Helen Branswell, one of five journalists reporting on their coverage of this crisis. "The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that when covering a rapidly evolving event like this pandemic, it’s important to be open to new evidence and data, even if it goes against what I’d previously reported," says Garcia de Jesus. "We’re watching science happen in real-time—sometimes that involves conflicting information." (Other reporters on the panel: Mark Johnson, Antonio Martínez Ron, and Jane Qiu. Questions answered: What strategies have you used for finding suitable sources for your stories? What skills do you feel have been most essential to your work in covering this pandemic? Knowing that this pandemic will be a marathon, not a sprint, what have been some of the most important forms of self-care that you’ve been seeking out for yourself? What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned so far, in covering this pandemic? What tips do you have for other reporters covering COVID-19? Plus links to other interesting, insightful pieces.
How to use Twitter to find a treasure trove of real patient voices (Sally James, Center for Health Journalism, 4-8-19) Thousands of patients spend time on Twitter talking about their cancer, or diabetes, or psoriasis, or almost any diagnosis you can imagine. As a reporter, you can find patients to interview while absorbing valuable background here. You can find an individual to be the face of your story, or sharpen your perspective on a chronic disease by reading about the experiences of dozens of patients living with it. These insights can change the questions you ask and the direction of your reporting.
Watch webcasts on your lunch break. “Use your lunch break to stay up-to-speed on COVID-19. Many organizations — the Alliance for Health Policy, Commonwealth Fund, National Academy of Medicine, JAMA and others — are hosting webcasts and livestreams about various aspects of COVID-19 weekly or even more frequently, and they have fantastic guests such as Dr. Anthony Fauci. The recordings are almost always posted for after-the-event viewing within 24 hours. Choose one to listen to in the background while you’re cooking, doing chores or completing other tasks. It’s an easy way to get story ideas and learn from top experts.” (Lola Butcher @LolaButcher, quoted on AHCJ)
Mass General FLARE (MGH FLARE) is a collaborative effort among doctors at Mass General to update fellow physicians in the pulmonary and critical care divisions on the latest novel coronavirus research--with a quick review of specific topics that have popped up in the news or social media literature on SARS-CoV-2, with a focus on critical care issues. H/T @JenniferLarson.
Bad State Data Hides Coronavirus Threat As Trump Pushes Reopening (Darius Tahir and Adam Cancryn, Politico, 5-27-2020) In at least a dozen states, health departments have inflated testing numbers or deflated death tallies by changing criteria for who counts as a coronavirus victim and what counts as a coronavirus test, according to reporting from Politico, other news outlets and the states' own admissions.
Avoid single patient, single source COVID-19 stories – especially on “cures” (Gary Schwitzer, Health News Review, 5-21-2020) Don't jump to conclusions based on news stories about a single patient, or about a single researcher’s belief in a cure.
How COVID-19 is threatening press freedom: An interview with Joel Simon (Ann Cooper, Journalist's Resource, 4-13-2020) "It’s sobering to see how many governments have taken action against journalists for their COVID-19 coverage....political leaders are being told by experts that they must take dramatic action to stem the spread of a deadly disease but they are worried about the economic and social consequences of doing so. Of course one way to avoid making a difficult decision is suppress any reporting that suggests that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, and many governments are doing just that."
The COVID Tracking Project collects and publishes the most complete testing data available for US states and territories.
Op-ed: Covering science at dangerous speeds (Ivan Oransky, Columbia Journalism Review, 5-4-2020) How not to get it (especially Covid-19) wrong, especially if medical science is not your usual beat. Always read the entire paper. Ask 'dumb' questions. Ask smart questions. Quantify. What are the side effects. Who dropped out? Are there alternatives? Etc. and explained.
Data Drum: COVID-19 Data (data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention. Also available as a mobile app.)
COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) (the Allen Institute for AI in partnership with leading research groups) a free resource of over 45,000 scholarly articles, including over 33,000 with full text, about COVID-19 and the coronavirus family of viruses for use by the global research community.
Covering COVID-19 and the coronavirus: 5 tips from a Harvard epidemiology professor (Denise-Marie Ordway, Journalist's Resource, 3-6-2020) Choose experts carefully. Distinguish what is known to be true from what is thought to be true — and what’s speculation or opinion. Use caution when citing research findings from “preprints,” or unpublished academic papers. Ask academics for help gauging the newsworthiness of new theories and claims. To prevent misinformation from spreading, news outlets also should fact-check op-eds. Read the work of journalists who cover science topics well.
Reliable sources for updates on COVID-19 (ComfortDying.com site) See also Coronavirus: A Primer and How to protect yourself from COVID-19.
The Five Questions Reporters Need to Ask Hospitals and Local Officials About Coronavirus (Charles Ornstein, ProPublica, 3-17-2020) Including: How many beds does each hospital in your state/region have? How many of those beds are already occupied?
Coronavirus Rumor Control (FEMA)
Covering the Coronavirus Pandemic (National Association of Broadcasters) Webcast and other resources.
The Newsroom Guide to COVID-19
Covering Coronavirus: Resources for Journalists (Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, 2-28-2020)
A virtual conversation with science journalist Carl Zimmer (YouTube video, ScienceWritersNY, recorded 5-12-2020) He answers key questions frankly and knowledgeably (worth a listen). SWINY's further video interviews on the topic, including one on how Sweden handled the pandemic, here: Archive of virtual conversations with science journalists
Carl Zimmer's archive of articles about Covid-19 issues
Coronavirus, SARS and Flu Resources (Mike Reilley, Journalist's Toolbox, 4-1-2020) The most extensive set of links for journalists--both general and very specific!
Presenting Trump and Science as Equals Isn’t Balanced, It’s Dangerous (Neil deMause, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, or FAIR, 3-23-2020) Stopping the coronavirus pandemic from taking millions of lives may require news organizations to take sides—but if it’s on the side of science, that’s the kind of bias that journalism needs.
I Lived Through SARS and Reported on Ebola. These Are the Questions We Should Be Asking About Coronavirus. (Caroline Chen, ProPublica, 3-5-2020) Instead of asking: How many test kits do you have? Ask this: How many samples are you running per patient? Instead of saying: The mortality rate is X%. Say this: Scientists estimate the mortality rate is X%, based on the information they have.
Mapping coronavirus, responsibly (Kenneth Field, ESRI, 2-25-2020)
Covering Coronavirus: Expert Tips for Journalists and Communicators (YouTube video, CDC at National Press Club, 2-10-2020, 1 hr 26 minutes) Streamed live, available with comments via LiveStream replay.
Use caution when reporting on pandemic potential of Wuhan coronavirus (Bara Vaida, Association of Health Care Journalists, 1-23-2020)
Despite pronouncements, no quick turnaround likely for COVID-19 treatments, vaccines (Bara Vaida, Covering Health, AHCJ, 3-20-2020)  "An inaccurate statement that President Trump made during a March 19 news briefing - that the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine had been approved as a COVID-19 treatment - demonstrates how skeptical journalists should remain when covering the unfolding story about treatments and preventative measures. While there are more than 85 trials for vaccines and treatments underway for COVID-19, scientists don't expect them to be available to the public soon, despite what some headlines suggest." President Trump is absolutely NOT a reliable source, and some of the things he's said have caused harm.
Finding the latest COVID-19 studies — and covering them thoughtfully (Tara Haelle, Covering Health, AHCJ, 3-20-2020) In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, most data came from news reports, clinical summaries and preprints. Now more and more peer-reviewed studies are coming out each day, and it's challenging to keep up with them. Several journals have set up dedicated coronavirus sites that can help in keeping up with the research. The Lancet's COVID-19 Resource Centre, JAMA Network's COVID-19 resource center and NEJM's Coronavirus (COVID-19) page all include the newest studies, commentary and related data and information on the pandemic.
How to find local public health sources for your coronavirus coverage (Bara Vaida, Covering Health, AHCJ, 4-29-2020)
The Simplest Way to Spot Coronavirus Misinformation on Social Media (Will Oremus, OneZero, 3-4-2020) A digital literacy expert shares his method. Fact-check! See also Fact-Checking In the Age of “Fake News”: A Q&A With Brooke Borel and Alex Kasprak (Tips from the 2017 World Conference of Science Journalists)
RSS service streamlines access to COVID-19 preprints (Tara Haelle, Covering Health, AHCJ, 5-13-2020) A new service from NewsRx is an RSS feed specifically for COVID-19 preprints. (It attempts to streamline the process for journalists and researchers by turning the fire hose of research into something a bit more manageable.) You can check the site itself, sign up for the feed or sign up for email alerts. See also Beware the preprint in covering coronavirus research (Tara Haelle, Covering Health, AHCJ, 4-17-2020)
NewsRx Delivers COVID-19 Preprints NewsRx is a journalism technology company with several resources that reporters may find helpful while reporting on the pandemic, including a primer on preprints. See also The Power of Preprints, a primer on preprints.
Problems with Preprints: Covering Rough-Draft Manuscripts Responsibly (Roxanne Khamsi, The Open Notebook, 6-1-2020) 'Hastily conducted and reported scientific studies are an unfortunate hallmark of the current pandemic, as journalist Christie Aschwanden wrote recently in Wired. She says journalists should have their guard up. “Where I’ve seen reporters go wrong on this is when they sort of grab these [preprints] because they want to be first,” Aschwanden says.'
Stop Getting So Excited About ‘Preliminary’ Findings (Christie Aschwanden, Wired, 4-24-2020) No, seriously, when it comes to Covid-19—or any disease—bad data is worse than no data at all.
The many challenges of covering the coronavirus (Jon Allsop, CJR, 3-9-2020) The challenge here is to communicate nuance and uncertainty in formats—headlines, tweets, and so on—that reward brevity and clarity.
What Investigative Reporters Around the World Need to Be Asking About COVID-19 (Amruta Byatnal, Global Investigative Journalism Network, 3-10-2020) Q&A with Thomas Abraham, an expert on infectious disease and global health security, and the author of Twenty-first Century Plague: The Story of SARS and of Polio: The Odyssey of Eradication. Remember that science evolving as rapidly as this is hedged by huge amounts of uncertainty.
How newsrooms can tone down their coronavirus coverage while still reporting responsibly (Al Tompkins, Poynter, 3-4-2020) When you do anecdotal stories about sickness and death from coronavirus, infuse them with the data that points out the wider context of the issue.
The coronavirus crisis is also a domestic abuse crisis. Keep these tips in mind to cover it. (Kellie Schmitt, Center for Health Journalism, 5-29-2020)
How to name a coronavirus ( Merrill Perlman, CJR, 2-24-2020)
How to Report on the COVID-19 Outbreak Responsibly (Bill Hanage, Marc Lipsitch, Scientific American, 2-23-2020) Reporting "should distinguish between at least three levels of information: (A) what we know is true; (B) what we think is true—fact-based assessments that also depend on inference, extrapolation or educated interpretation of facts that reflect an individual’s view of what is most likely to be going on; and (C) opinions and speculation."
COVID-19 reports (Imperial College London‌)

ON A SISTER SITE:
Coronavirus: The good, the bad, and the practical (a full website page on many aspects of the topic)
---Pandemic: The big picture
---Social distancing and sheltering in place
---Testing, testing, testing--and contact tracing
---What patients with covid-19 experience
---The race for effective vaccines and anti-viral treatments
---Where in the world things went right
---Politics, government, and the coronavirus
---Trump's handling of the pandemic
---Why Covid-19 is so dangerous
---Who is harmed most by Covid-19
---Reliable sources of information (and against misinformation)
---A salute to the medical workers and others who help (I need more here!)
---Facts and tips that don't fit elsewhere
Coronavirus: How to minimize your risk
Covering the coronavirus story as a journalist
On keeping a diary or journal of the pandemic
26+ things to do (listen, watch, read, share, do) during the pandemic
Coronavirus: A primer

FACT-CHECKING SITES especially useful on MISINFORMATION/CONSPIRACY THEORIES

Social Media Posts Spread Bogus Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory (FactCheck.org)
The coronavirus ‘infodemic’ is real. We rated the websites responsible for it (John Gregory, First Opinion, STAT 2-28-2020) I’m an editor at NewsGuardNewsGuard, which rates the credibility of news and information websites. Our ongoing analyses show that misinformation about the outbreak is clearly beating reliable information when it comes to engagement on social media worldwide. NewsGuard has rated the credibility and transparency of more than 3,200 news and information sites in the U.S., accounting for 96% of online engagement, previously reporting that more than 1 in 10 of these sites share health misinformation. An overview of the misinformation epidemic. conspiracy theories, and the most prolific peddlers of health misinformation.
Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center (Newsguard)
FactCheck.org to Work With Facebook on Exposing Viral Fake News (Annenberg Public Policy Center, 12-15-16)
Coronavirus Coverage (FactCheck.org)
SciCheck (FactCheck.org)
Debunking False Stories

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Estate Planning: Your literary estate

Have you spelled out who inherits your intellectual property? Here are some helpful explanations.This is an update of an earlier blog post (Authors' wills, trusts, and estates), with much new material added.

by Pat McNees
Estate Planning for Authors (Edward M. McBoyd, YouTube video of Authors Guild webinar, 11-6-19, 1.4 hrs) Pretty thorough legal overview to help you plan for your author's estate.
Estate Planning For Writers (Matt Knight, Sidebar Saturdays, 12-2-17) The advantages and disadvantages of wills and trusts, whether you need both an executor and a literary trustee, how to structure a literary estate.
What Happens When An Author Dies. Estate Planning With Kathryn Goldman (Joanna Penn, Creative Penn, 11-23-15) Podcast and text.
The Death of a Writer (Allison K Williams, Brevity's nonfiction blog, 6-4-19) Who is going to deal with your literary legacy, and what do you want done with your journals, family photos, genealogical research, story notes, complete and unfinished manuscripts, published works (who inherits the copyright?), treasured mementos, social media (wipes? or legacy status?), passwords and account numbers for whoever wraps up your estate? And do you want any old letters or evidence of love affairs preserved or destroyed?
Death is not the end: the lucrative world of literary estates (Financial Times, 7-25-19) The growth of streaming services, demand for audio books and the globalisation of publishing are a boon for a writer’s descendants.
Your Literary Estate, Part One: Assigning a Literary Executor (Christopher Klim, The US Review of Books, 2-1-17) "Your heirs will have varying degrees of concern for your legacy, ranging from not-at-all through avarice to sincere compassion for your work. Get control of the process now....Your literary executor would optimally be someone who is both involved in the business of publishing and is familiar with you and your heirs. It could be an editor, agent, or fellow writer. He/She should understand both your work and intentions....Gover knew that his heirs would trust me and my eventual decisions, but I was powerless in managing his literary estate unless it was official. However, I learned that almost no one had information on this topic."
Your Literary Estate, Part Two: Managing Your Work (Christopher Klim, The US Review of Books, 3-1-17) "Assigning a literary executor is not all about contract negotiation and oversight. It also involves handling your literary papers and letters....For the Eric Hoffer estate, his papers had already been stored at the Hoover Institute, but with regular rights inquiries, it was important to have access to existing contracts in order to help avoid copyright conflicts....In my experience, publishers will be intentionally unhelpful. They have a long history of hiding royalties from authors, as well as assuming rights that they had never obtained. Make sure your literary executor knows everything you do, so he/she can make the best decisions. Slapping a firm letter on a publisher with the power of an informed literary executor is better on any day than filing a lawsuit. The big publishers will out-wait and out-lawyer you every time."
How to Fund a Living Trust With Royalties (John Stevens, LegalBeagle) A royalty is the right to receive financial compensation for a body of work that is used by a third party (e.g., for songs played on the radio, for books sold). A living trust is a common way to pass those rights at death. The main reason to create a living trust is to avoid probate
My Life, Their Archive (Tim Parks, New York Review of Books, 5-21-14) 'For the author, needless to say, the lure is money. Large sums can be involved. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas reputedly paid $1.5 million for J. M. Coetzee’s papers. The British Library more modestly gave £110,000 for the manuscripts of novelist Graham Swift, announcing as a special attraction “a tape recording of the answer phone messages he received on the night he won the Booker Prize.” ...But not only money. Any organization that spends a considerable sum on you will also have an interest in promoting your reputation. They don’t want to be accused of having thrown cash at a lemon. So there will be exhibitions, seminars, features of archived material.'
Final Drafts: Selecting a Literary Executor (Lloyd Jassin and Ronald Finkelstein, CopyLaw.com, 2002) 'A General Executor will often be a spouse or other family member that does not have experience with literary matters. Therefore, you should consider entrusting the care of your papers, existing contracts and unpublished manuscripts to a Literary Executor. Keep in mind that being a Literary Executor can be a lot of work. By taking the time to carefully select a Literary Executor, you lessen the likelihood of intra-family disputes that could result in family members refusing to negotiate for the further exploitation of your works -- preferring instead to retire your copyrighted works from publication....While a family member may agree to work for free, attorneys and literary agents will most likely seek a fee of between 10% and 15% for new contracts they negotiate on behalf of the estate....In some instances, an author may create a lifetime (“inter-vivos”) trust and transfer literary assets to the trust. In this case, a trustee will be appointed to carry out responsibilities similar to an Executor. In such instances, the author appoints a "Literary Trustee" who acts in much the same manner as a "Literary Executor" would under a decedent's will....Authors with significant estates should meet with their attorney or accountant now to determine whether any lifetime planning can be employed to reduce the value of their estates at their death so that more assets can pass to their heirs.'
The Works of Merton (letter from Robert E. Daggy and reply by J.M. Cameron, New York Review of Books, 11-22-79) In 1967, on the advice of friends and with the concurrence of his abbot, Merton decided to name Bellarmine College repository for his literary estate.
Do You Need a Literary Executor? (Susan Spann, Writers in the Storm, 7-15-13) When do you need a literary executor (or trustee) to administer the copyright in your estate? "Copyrights aren’t like houses, or cars, or jewelry—assets which can be readily converted into cash and which require no ongoing business skills. Copyright management requires specialized skills which many heirs do not possess....The copyright management process can be confusing even for one heir and confrontational when many heirs are involved... The literary executor can be one of the heirs, or can be a professional hired (and often paid) to manage the copyrights on your heirs’ behalf....While the general executor’s job may be finished in about a year, the literary executor may continue to manage creative works on behalf of the author’s estate until the end of the copyright term."
Orphan Row Update: Another Living Author, Two Books in Print, Literary Estates Held by Charities, Etc. (Authors Guild, 9-15-11) "Here’s what we can tell you about authors of some of the books that HathiTrust is scheduled to release for downloading by hundreds of thousands of students."
Bitter feuds, buried scandal: the contested world of literary estates (Leo Robson, New Statesman, 1-2-19) When an author dies, literary estates take over – bringing disputes, fraud and conflagrations.
The great estate: those global literary brands roll on (Robert McCrum, The Guardian, 3-15-12) The recently deceased Dmitri Nabokov made a fortune from his father's estate, while the houses of Fleming, Tolkien et al are equally at home in the digital age.
Important. And pass it on... (Neil Gaiman, A Simple Will,10-30-06) Download "A Simple Will" and fill it in for yourself.
Neil Gaiman on why writers tend to put off writing wills, particularly wills that spell out how their intellectual property should be handled. You can download a template (PDF) of a generic will for U.S. authors but maybe run it by a lawyer, as laws vary by state.
Writers' wills: a rich legacy for readers (Claire Armitstead, The Guardian, 1-8-14) As a stock of famous authors' final testaments are posted online, we can be glad of the insights they leave to us.
An end to bad heir days: The posthumous power of the literary estate (Gordon Bowker, Independent UK, 1-6-12) ""On the last day of 2011, the 70th anniversary year of his death, James Joyce's work finally passed out of copyright. It was the dawn of a new age for Joyce scholars, publishers and biographers who are now free to quote or publish him without the permission of the ferociously prohibitive Joyce estate."
Wills of the Rich and Famous (aka "celebrity wills," posted on Living Trust Network, an estate planning portal). Featured: Warren Burger, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Princess Diana. Walt Disney, Doris Duke, Elizabeth Edwards, Henry Fonda, Benjamin Franklin, Clark Gable, James Gandolfini, Katherine Hepburn, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, President John F. Kennedy, John Kennedy, Jr. and more.
Famous wills 1552-1854 In 2014, the National Archives (UK) brought online this collection of documents that will delight biographers and historians. Among them, the wills of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Admiral Lord Nelson, Dr. Samuel Johnson, John Donne, Sir Francis Drake, William Congreve, Samuel Pepys, William Penn, George Frederic Handel, and William Wordsworth.
• Guest-blogging on Writers in the storm, Susan Spann (author of the popular Shinobi Mystery series, published a series of pieces advising on authors' estate planning and authors' trusts, under the Publaw theme (where you can find more of these). I link to some of them here:
--- WHO WILL YOU TRUST? Wills in Author Estate Planning Susan Spann, guest blog on Writers in the Storm, 5-10-13).
---Who Inherits Your Copyrights? (4-22-13)
---Do You Own Your Copyrights? (Susan Spann, 1-10-14)
---Do You Know Your (Copy) Rights? (Susan Spann, 12-13-13)
---Who Can an Author Trust? Trusts in the Author Estate Plan (6-14-13).
---Do You Need a Literary Executor? (Susan Spann, 7-15-13)
--- How to Choose a Literary Executor (Susan Spann, 8-9-13)
---But What Does a Literary Trustee DO? (Part 1) (Susan Spann)
---Trust The Process: Literary Executors, Part 2 (Susan Spann)

Rights and Royalties Management, Licensing,

issues about and problems with authors' and artists' estates. What happens to works after authors die. (Writers and Editors, Copyright, work for hire, and other rights issues)


• SFWA runs two helpful lists (which cover more than genre fiction writers):
---Estates Contact Information
---Estates we’re looking for
Literary estates administered by The Society of Authors (UK)
Wills, Probate and Trusts For Writers (H.S. Stavropoulos, author of crime fiction with a Greek-American flavor)

Now some stunning photographs:
15 Famous Authors’ Beautiful Estates (Emily Temple, Flavorwire, 1-24-12) Photos of the beautiful homes of Anaïs Nin, Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, Evelyn Waugh, Gore Vidal, J. K. Rowling, Kurt Vonnegut,Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Stephen King, Robert Graves, Victor Hugo, Eudora Welty, William Shakespeare, Frederick Douglass.'
18 Famous Authors’ Houses Worth Seeing (Nick Mafi, Architectural Digest, 10-4-19)

What other resources are helpful? Tell me about experiences you've had or know about that it might be helpful for others to know about -- particularly problems to avoid or minimize.

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GREAT PODCASTS TO LISTEN TO AS YOU EXERCISE, DRIVE, IRON, FILE, COOK, FALL ASLEEP, DREAM, CLEAN, OR WALK, etc.

Updated 7-8-2020.

 

aka podcasts we, friends, or colleagues have enjoyed
(and sometimes become addicted to)


How to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS (Alina Bradford and Mark Jansen, Digital Trends, 7-31-19) Also useful: Listen Notes (an excellent podcast search engine)


1A (NPR News) Joshua Johnson hosts with great guests, framing the best debate in ways to make you think, share and engage.
Armchair Expert Dax Shepard and Monica Padman interview celebrities, journalists, and academics about "the messiness of being human."
Biographers International (discussions with biographers from around the country and the world)
Blank Check with Griffin and David Hosts Griffin Newman and David Sims delve into the works of film's most outsized personalities in painstakingly hilarious detail.
Caliphate.Rukmini Callimachi  reports on the Islamic State and the fall of Mosul.
Can He Do That? (Washington Post podcast about Trump, exploring the powers and limitations of the American presidency, and what happens when they're tested)
Code Switch (NPR) Ever find yourself in a conversation about race and identity where you just get...stuck? Listen to journalists of color talk about it.
Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend (weekly podcast hosted by American comedian and talk show host, with war stories from TV work)
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central's Podcast Network)
Darknet Diaries Explore the dark side of the Internet as Jack Rhysider takes you on a journey through the chilling world of privacy hacks, data breaches, and cyber crime, as masterful criminal hackers show us just how vulnerable we all are.
Decoder Ring Each month Slate critic Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit; examines its history; and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters. Examples: Baby Shark, sad Jennifer Aniston, the rise of the horror clown.
Dolly Parton's America (NPR)
Dr. Death (Wondery) "explores what happens when a power-hungry doctor is not stopped by the people who should stop him until it is too late."
Ear Hustle (Radiotopia) The daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration.
Endless Thread (WBUR and Reddit) Hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson dig into Reddit's vast and curious ecosystem of online communities, collaborating with Reddit's 330 million users and over 140 thousand communities to find all kinds of jaw-dropping narratives.
Everything Is Alive (in which inanimate objects tell their life stories)
Family Secrets (IHeart Radio) Dani Shapiro and her guests explore family secrets and the lessons the truth can tell us.
Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing
The Habitat Life on Mars, sort of. The true story of six volunteers picked to live on a fake planet.
Half Size Me Heather A. Robertson, who lost 170 pounds and has maintained her weight loss since 2012, interviews real people who share their own motivational stories of weight loss and weight maintenance.
Heavyweight (Gimlet Media) Humorist Jonathan Goldstein helps people try to resolve a moment from their past. See New Yorker review.
Household Name (aka Brought to you by) Surprising stories about how the biggest, household name brands affect our lives and culture — for better or worse.
How I Built This (Guy Razz, NPR) The stories behind some of the world's best known companies: a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.
The Indicator (weekdays from Planet Money) helps you make sense of what's happening today--a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else.
The Last Days of August Jon Ronson, the creator of Audible Original The Butterfly Effect, delves into the pornography industry again as he unravels the never-before-told story of what caused a beloved 23-year-old actress’s untimely death.
Lit Up (a podcast about literature)
The Manual Each week an expert, artisan, or craftsman is invited for a round-table discussion on what’s new, exciting, and unique in their trade, the idea being to help men live a more engaged life.
The Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus serve up tips on living meaningful lives with less.
Mobituaries with Mo Rocca, an irreverent but deeply researched appreciation of the people (and things) of the past.
Modern Love (WBUR and The New York Times) Top actors performing true stories of love, loss, and redemption.
The Moment (host Brian Koppelman). Interviews about the pivotal moments that fueled fascinating creative careers.
Moonface A fiction and drama show about a Korean American son (Joel Kim Booster) who wants to come out to his mom (Esther Moon), but can't because they don't speak the same language.
The “Moonrise” podcast, which tells a tale of nuclear brinkmanship, backroom politics, and science fiction.
The Moth Podcast (NPR, re-airs all new episodes of The Moth Radio Hour)
My Brother, My Brother, and Me Comedy advice from brothers Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy.
Nancy (WNYC Studios, NPR, stories and conversations about the LGBTQ experience today, hosted by Kathy Tu and Tobin Low. Prepare to laugh and cry and laugh again.)
The Nice Guys on Business Hosts Doug Sandler and Strickland Bonner focus on relationships, honesty, trust and integrity.
The NPR Politics Podcast Every weekday, NPR's best political reporters explain the big news coming out of Washington and the campaign trail, telling you both what happened and why it matters.
On Being (Krista Tippett) What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live? And who will we be to each other?
The Only One in the Room Laura Cathcart Robbins, who famously once found herself the only black woman in the room, interviews celebrities of all races, ethnicities, creeds, and nationalities who have also felt "othered."
Patient Zero (New Hampshire Public Radio) Exploring one of the most enigmatic epidemics of the 21st century: Lyme disease.
Planet Money (NPR)
People in the Shadow podcasts (Player FM roundup of podcasts on ghosts, paranormal, end times, the spooky and unexplained)
Political Gabfest (Slate, hosted by Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz) Where sharp political analysis meets informal and irreverent discussion.
Pop Culture Happy Hour Freewheeling chat about the latest movies, television, books, and music.
Publishers Weekly podcasts (in various categories)
Radio Diaries First-person diaries, sound portraits, and hidden chapters of history, from teenagers to octogenarians, prisoners to prison guards, bra saleswomen to gospel preachers. The extraordinary stories of ordinary life.
RadioLab Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich (for WNYC, New York Public Radio) combine investigative journalism and a lively narrative style to explore a strange world, from driverless cars and the U.S. nuclear chain of command to the history of football.
Sawbones Justin and Dr. Sydnee McElroy take you on a marital tour of misguided medicine through the ages.
Scattered (WNYC, NPR) Chris Garcia's dad had one dying wish: That his family scatter his ashes off the coast of Cuba. As Chris tries to do right by his dad, he sets out to uncover the truth about a man he barely knew.
The Score: Bank Robber Diaries (true crime, 5 episodes)
The Serial Killer Podcast (hosted by Thomas Wiborg-Thune, a Norwegian)
Sincerely, X (talks from speakers whose ideas deserve to be heard, but whose identities must remain hidden. The first season features a compelling program of victims, perpetrators, investigators, activists, empaths, etc.)
1619 (New York Times writer Nikole Hannah Jones) In August of 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. See also the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project. WritesTime Magazine: "Each episode demonstrates how our economy, political system and popular culture are rooted in the slave trade and built on the work of African Americans."
Spectacular Failures Big business gone bad. Host Lauren Ober tackles some of the most spectacular business failures of all time.
Storybound (Lit Hub Radio and Podglomerate) Listen to your favorite authors and writers reading some of their most impactful stories, designed with powerful and immersive sound environments.
StartUp (hosts Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow, Gimlet Media). A show about what it’s really like to start a business.
StoryCorps (NPR, Stories of the human heart. A candid, unscripted conversation between two people about what's really important in life: love, loss, family, friendship.)
TED Radio Hour Guy Raz explores the emotions, insights, and discoveries that make us human, taking us on a narrative journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, and new ways to think and create.
Timesuck Podcast with comedian Dan Cummins (weekly deep dives into topics ranging from true crime and the paranormal to history, conspiracy theories, and cryptozoology)
Tiny Desk Concerts (NPR Music, Audio--there's also a video version).
Unobscured with Aaron Mahnke. A serialized narrative, focusing on one topic only (for Season 1, the Salem Witch Trials; Season 2, the world of Spiritualism).
Up First (NPR) The three biggest stories of the day, with reporting and analysis from NPR News — in 10 minutes.
A Very Fatal Murder (David Pascall's true-crime podcast for The Onion)
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! NPR's weekly current events quiz. Have a laugh and test your news knowledge while figuring out what's real and what they've made up.
We Like Drinking (hosts Jeff Eckles, John Ruyak, and Jeff Solomon talk with professionals from the spirits industry about booze)
What a Day (Crooked Media) Akilah Hughes and Gideon Resnick bring you the top stories of the day across politics, business, economics and pop culture--what matters and how you can fix it.
The Writer Files (Kelton Reid's interviews with a broad spectrum of writers)
WTF with Marc Maron a weekly podcast and radio show hosted by stand-up comedian Marc Maron.
You Made It Weird A weekly comedy interview podcast hosted by Pete Holmes, the gatekeeper to every comedian's can of secret inner weird.
You're Wrong About Mike and Sarah are journalists obsessed with the past. Every week they reconsider an event, person or phenomenon that's been miscast in the public imagination.

 

ROUND-UP REVIEWS OF PODCASTS
The best podcasts of 2019 (Digital Trends) From true crime to comedy.
The Stitcher List Weekly ranking of the most popular shows on Stitcher.
The Best History Podcasts (The Manual)
Best podcasts of 2019 so far (Esquire)
8 of the best podcasts for book lovers (Megan Sutton, The Manual, 4-19-18)
Fast-Lane Listening: The Best Podcasts for Road Trips (LeeAnn Whittemore, The Manual, 5-28-19)
Listen Up: These Podcasts Can Help You Get Your Life Together LeeAnn Whittemore (The Manual) recommends a few self-help podcasts.
20 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now (Brianna Bell, The Write Life)
Addictive and wonderful TV and cable shows (Pat McNees, blog post)

 

Is something you love missing?  Tell us about it!

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Independent writers object to laws that reclassify independent contractors (freelancers) as employees

Statement on Legislative Threats to Freelance Writers
From the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc.

For more than 70 years, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc., has recognized and endorsed the guarantees of free speech and an unfettered press established in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and the promise of equal protection under the laws set out in the Fourteenth Amendment. Our dedication to these basic principles of writing with a free hand is part of the organization's Constitution, which includes the improvement of "professional conditions for the independent writer" as one of ASJA's principal purposes. Our mission statement reflects our on-going intention to "represent freelancers' interests, serving as spokesperson for their right to control and profit from the uses of their work wherever it appears."

In this context, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc., opposes legislative efforts to restrict the ability of independent writers to work as they choose without governmental interference. The organization stands in solidarity with our members and with all freelancers facing threats to their livelihoods as a result of laws and legislation aimed at either prohibiting or restricting their work as independent entrepreneurs.

The American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc., recognizes that misclassification of workers as independent contractors when they deserve treatment as employees is a serious problem in many—but certainly not all—sectors of the labor market. We in no way condone the exploitation of workers by their employers. Trying to solve the problem by painting all independent workers with the same overly broad brush, however, ignores a robust community of freelance writers who choose independent career paths. Such legislation is both short-sighted and ultimately counterproductive. We urge the country's lawmakers to respect the constitutional rights and personal preferences of freelancers when considering legislation that redefines the status of independent contractors. Legislation that includes freelance writers in the general class of allegedly exploited workers is an attempt to solve a problem that does not exist and will cause immeasurable harm.

Milton C. Toby JD
President
American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc.

 

Reprinted by permission. (I am a member of ASJA)

 

RELATED STORIES
California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees (Kate Conger and Noam Scheiber, NY Times, 11-9-19) ("California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure....A coalition of labor groups is pushing similar legislation in New York, and bills in Washington State and Oregon that were similar to California’s but failed to advance could see renewed momentum. New York City passed a minimum wage for ride-hailing drivers last year but did not try to classify them as employees."
AB5 gig work bill: All your questions answered (Carolyn Said, SF Chronicle, 9-16-19)
Top Dems change ‘gig worker’ bill after freelancers said it would force them to leave N.J. (Sophie Nieto-Munoz | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)
Just a Platform? Instacart Workers Strike at the Gig Economy’s Favorite Lie (Jacob Rosenberg, Mother Jones, 11-21-19) “Their argument is that they’re a marketplace. They’re a software company. They’re just connecting—that’s just not true.” Instacart is a grocery-shopping service valued at nearly $8 billion that doesn’t pay the people who buy and deliver the groceries enough to live, those workers say.

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Writing and editing for Wikipedia

Experienced Wikipedia writers and editors: Let me know which important pages I should add here, for the benefit of people new to contributing to Wikipedia.

Who writes Wikipedia?
Contributing to Wikipedia (describes the Wikipedia editing community's established practice on some aspect or aspects of Wikipedia's norms and customs)
Frequently Asked Questions About Wikipedia
FAQs about editing for Wikipedia
Wikipedia Guidelines
How do I create a new page?
Article size
Featured content Featured content represents the best of Wikipedia, including articles, pictures, and other contributions that showcase excellent results of the collaborative efforts of Wikipedia. All featured content undergoes a thorough review process to ensure that it meets the highest standards in order to serve as the best example of our end goals. A small bronze star (The featured content star) in the top right corner of a desktop page indicates that the content is featured.
Citing sources Wikipedia's verifiability policy requires inline citations for any material challenged or likely to be challenged, and for all quotations, anywhere in article space.
Navigation Wikipedia is so vast that the features that usually facilitate navigating, like hypertext and a search box, are supplemented by portals and a page theme that features a toolbox, a search box, and the category of the page, on every page.
Neutral point of view "Articles must not take sides, but should explain the sides, fairly and without editorial bias. This applies to both what you say and how you say it."
"Notability" guidelines
Researching and Writing Wikipedia Articles (How Wikipedia Works/Chapter 6, Wikibooks)
What Wikipedia is not
Wikipedia: Teahouse (a friendly forum in which to learn about editing Wikipedia)
Are There Rules Against Paying Someone To Write A Wikipedia Article? (Michael Wood, Social Media Today, 11-24-14) Read the full article.

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Where to get science news

Let me know if any wonderful publications are left out of this informally assembled list. Scroll down for links to forums.

Aeon ("a sanctuary online for serious thinking")
Cosmos (the science of everything)
Ag Insider (Food and Environment Reporting Network)
Massive Science (New science stories every week, written by scientists themselves)
National Geographic Magazine
Nature (an esteemed and heavily cited science journal)
Nautilus (each issue on a special topic, backed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
New Scientist (realistic news reporting, from UK)
Newswise
Politico
Pro Publica (Journalism in the Public Interest) Read More 

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What to do if you self-publish through both Amazon KDP and IngramSpark

by Melinda Clayton

If you want to use both KDP Print and IngramSpark for paperbacks, explained novelist Melinda Clayton recently on the Authors Guild forum, you must be careful to "un-check" Expanded Distribution through KDP Print. These are the steps you need to take:

1. Own your own ISBN (purchase at Bowker if you're in the U.S.)
2. Un-check Expanded Distribution on KDP Print, but don't un-publish your book. You want to leave it on KDP Print for distribution through Amazon; you just have to remove it from Expanded Distribution. This is because Expanded Distribution makes your book available in the Ingram catalog, and Ingram won't list the exact same book twice.
3. Send KDP Print an email asking them to remove your paperback from Expanded Distribution while leaving it with KDP for distribution on Amazon. Although you've unchecked it, emailing KDP Print speeds the process along.
4. Set up your account on IngramSpark .
5. Email IngramSpark a Title Transfer Addendum request. The link will take you to a page on Ingram that explains the process, and at the very bottom of that page is a link to click that will allow you to download and print the Title Transfer Addendum.
6. Once KDP Print and Ingram have transferred your titles from the KDP Print Ingram account to your own, you'll get an email from IngramSpark letting you know the transfer has taken place and asking you to approve your proofs. If you approve, you're all set. Your books will still be available through KDP Print for distribution to Amazon, and they'll also be available through Ingram for other stores and libraries.

 

Here are links to Melinda's novels and if you are thinking about self-publishing, check out her explanations on Indies Unlimited, See, for example, Do I Need Different ISBNs for CreateSpace and Ingram? (read the whole thing).

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Is it time for the United States to establish a Public Lending Right?

"Thirty-five countries—including the United Kingdom, every country in Europe, Canada, Israel, and Australia—support their authors with cash payments from the national government in compensation for the free library lending of their books. Over the past half-century, all these nations have established systems of Public Lending Right....PLR recognizes two fundamental principles: the need for society to provide free access to books, and the right of authors to be remunerated for their work. These principles should not be in conflict. The Authors Guild believes in both. We plan to work with the nation’s libraries to create a system that will benefit authors and libraries alike." -- James Gleick, Support of a Public Lending Right in the United States (PLR) (Authors Guild Bulletin, Winter 2018/Spring 2019)

 

"Paying authors for library loans is not a charity,” he said, “it’s a right: a payment for the service of borrowing an author’s work.” Robert Caro, Barbara Tuchman, and Anne Edwards were among the well-known authors who championed the cause. Preliminary bills were introduced in both houses of Congress. Eventually, in the Reagan era, the effort died.

 

"But overseas the evident justice and utility of PLR systems has persuaded country after country. Last year our counterparts in the U.K., the Society of Authors, led a successful effort to extend their program to include e-lending. Beginning July 1, authors became eligible for payments for library lending of their ebooks and audiobooks....


"The maximum payment to any one author would be capped: the idea is not to reward J. K. Rowling (no offense, Joanne) but to provide some much-needed help for midlist authors....

 

We never want to tell a library not to lend our books—love of libraries is at the core of who we are. At the same time, librarians themselves are recognizing that they need the professional author to survive... author income that once came from the use of books in classrooms has been evaporating. Expensive high-speed scanners are now standard equipment in university department offices, and university libraries increasingly believe it is their right to distribute digital copies of chapters and whole books throughout their communities. This turns authors into forced unpaid donors. A robust PLR system would restore some fairness."

The Authors Guild Calls for a “Public Lending Right” (Nate Hoffelder, The Digital Reader, 1-16-19) "The Authors Guild was somewhat correct when they said 22,000 authors in the UK were paid up to 6,600 pounds, but what they forgot to tell you was that almost as many authors were paid zilch.

"According to UK data from 2017 (the most recent I can find), a total of 41,750 authors were listed in the PLR system when the payments went out in February. Of that number, 19,548 received nothing at all because their share was less than one pound. Another 16.654 received under 100 pounds, while 3,232 received under 500 pounds (PDF).

"The numbers are almost as bad in Canada, where 59% of all registered authors were paid less than $253.80 CAD in June 2018 (this includes the authors who were paid nothing)."

 

COMMENTS?

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The practical aspects of publishing an anthology

THE LEGAL SIDE OF PUBLISHING AN ANTHOLOGY:
Understanding Copyrights for Anthologies (Susan Spann, Writers in the Storm, 11-13-15) Anthology contracts should contain at least two clear statements of copyright:
A declaration that copyright in the author's work remains the sole property of the contributing author; and
A declaration that the copyright in the anthology "as a collective work" belongs to the anthology publisher.
• NEVER grant or transfer your copyright in your work to an anthology publisher. Authors of individual works should always retain copyright on their own original Read More 

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