Category Archives: Copyright

Avoid Writing Contest Scams!

Beware of writing contest scams!Writer Unboxed (via, as so often, Chris the Story Reading Ape) is hitting  on all cylinders these days. Here’s an extremely useful post detailing how to assess a publishing contest BEFORE you enter! Thanks to Susan Spann for this excellent list. Read the comments, too.



Filed under Contests, Copyright, publishing contracts, Scams, Writing

EDITING 101: 22 – Using Registered Trademarks and Brand Names…

Understanding how to handle trademarked or brand names does indeed seem to perplex many of us. There’s some good practical advice in this post.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Using Registered Trademarks and Brand Names

When you’re writing and your character uses a Kleenex, you’ve just used a registered trademark. Normally in non-fiction or business writing, you’d see it this way: Kleenex® or Kleenex™. To avoid using a brand name, you could say your character used a “tissue.”

You do not have to use ® or ™ in fiction writing.

The words aspirin, escalator, phillips-head screw, zipper, yo-yo, and vaseline were once trademarked but have lost that protection. They acquired such market dominance that the brand names became genericized. Companies want their products to become popular—but not too popular!—since there’s a price to pay for that popularity.

Kleenex®, Xerox®, Band-Aid®, and Plexiglas® were once in danger of losing their trademark…

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Filed under Copyright, ebooks, Editing, indie publishing, self editing, Self-publishing, Writing

Some Helpful Advice on Copyright, ISBNs, and More

Books leading to a door in a brick wallJoel Friedlander is always a wonderful resource. Today’s “Mailbag” covers some important questions about copyright and ISBNs, as well as some questions about vendors and formatting decisions. Check it out!

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Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, Copyright, ebooks, indie publishing, Money!, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, Self-publishing, Writing

InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Finishing Up, Part 3

This is part of a series. Here is a complete list of current posts in my InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet.

It’s time to put final elements together before producing a pdf suitable for submission to Ingram and CreateSpace. Most important at this final stage is your “front matter.”

Front Matter

This term refers to your title page(s), your copyright page, and any other elements you want to include, such as quotes from reviews or blurbs you’ve solicited, epigraphs like quotes from poems or songs, or an author’s note—everything leading up to the actual first page of Chapter One.

To begin, determine how many front matter pages you want. I’ve discovered that, except for the copyright page, most published books insert front-matter text only on odd-numbered pages, or the right-hand pages. So in my books, I include the following front matter pages:

  • Page 1: A “Praise for” page of quotes from editorial reviews
  • Page 2: Blank
  • Page 3: Title (return) by (return) Author, all centered
  • Page 4: Copyright page (see discussion below)
  • Page 5: Author’s Note
  • Page 6: Blank
  • Page 7: An “Also by” note listing my other titles, centered
  • Page 8: Blank
  • Page 9: Title, centered
  • Page 10: Blank

Page 11 starts the book proper.

Once you know how many pages you will need, use Layout>Pages>Insert Pages to add the correct number to your document. Until you insert text, they will show up as blank pages in the Pages Panel.

Pages Panel in InDesign

Here, the ten “front matter” pages I’ve added show up before the “Main” text.

When you submit your book to your cover designer, you will count these pages, as well as back matter pages (see below) as part of your total page count.

Creating Sections to Control Page Numbering

You do NOT want to count the front-matter pages as part of your “book” proper. In other words, right now, using my list of pages above as an example, the first-front matter page is numbered “1” and the first page of the actual book would be numbered “11.” But I want my first page of actual text to be numbered “1.”

If you’re familiar with Word, you know that the header and footer dialogue boxes allow you to tell Word how you want each chapter numbered.

In InDesign, you can solve this problem by creating sections.

 Creating Sections

  • Select the first page of your actual book text in the Pages Panel by double-clicking on it
  • Open “Layout” from the menu at the top of the screen.
  • Choose “Numbering and Section Options. . . .”

Numbering and Section options in InDesign

  • In the “New Section” dialogue box that opens, check that “Start Section” is selected.
  • Enter “1” in “Start Page Numbering at.”
  • Select the style you want, probably Arabic (the font will be determined by your master).
  • Click OK

New Section Dialogue Box in InDesign

In the Pages Panel, you’ll notice that page numbers appear under the page icons. Your first ten pages (the front matter pages) will be numbered 1-10.

Pages Panel in InDesign

Then, above your first page of actual text, you’ll see a little triangle. This is the “new section” indicator. This page will be numbered as “Main1,” and the rest of the pages as “Main 2, Main 3, Main 4. . . . etc.” “Main” is the default Section Prefix. You can change this to anything you want.

Later, if you print, or when you make adjustments to specific pages, always be sure to include the Section Prefix to distinguish Front-matter Page 1 from Book-text Page 1.

You’ll notice that your new front-matter pages each have a little  “A” in the upper outside corner. This means that the program is applying your primary, or “A,” master to these pages. But! These front-matter pages should NOT show the elements from your master: the running heads and page numbers.

So removing these elements is the next step in creating this section of your book.

Removing Master-page Elements from Front-Matter Pages

You have at least three choices for removing page numbers and running heads.

Option One:

Select the front-matter pages by clicking on the first page, then shift-clicking on the last page you intend to use for front-matter text—the last page before your actual book begins. In my example, I would select pages 1-10.

Go to Layout>Pages>Apply Master to Pages

Layout>Pages menu in InDesign

In the box that opens, select “none.”

Apply master

Note that this option may affect your margins. In my case, I had set up document margins that corresponded to my text frames, so removing the master elements using this method did not affect the margins of any of the pages. This method was easy and fast.

Option Two:

  • On each page of your front matter, use the now-familiar Type Tool to hold down SHIFT + COMMAND/CTRL and click. The text frame is selected.
  • Hit the Delete key on your keyboard

You can select multiple elements in a single spread (two side-by-side even and odd pages) by holding down the SHIFT + COMMAND/CTRL keys as you click. “Delete” should remove all the master page elements in that spread at one fell swoop.

This method requires that you delete the master-page elements on one spread at a time,  so it is a little slower than simply removing the masters across a range of pages. But this method will preserve your margins and other elements if that becomes an issue.

Option Three

Create a new master for the front-matter pages

This is the most time-consuming of your options and is beyond the scope of this book. If you were formatting a multi-section book, you would probably find the effort to create separate masters for each section worthwhile. But for a text-only book like a novel, you only need two sections, a front-matter section and a book-proper section, and you can create, format, and paginate those two sections simply by removing or overriding your single A-master.

Your Copyright page

You must include this page in your print edition, just as you did in your ebook.

I’ve used Joel Friedlander’s “short” model from The Book Designer site for the format and text.

Copyright page for print-on-demand self-published book

Click to see a larger version

This is bare bones, but for many self-publishers, more than adequate.

When you look at books published by traditional publishers, you’ll see a lot more information on the copyright page. In most cases, what you’re seeing is the “CIP data block.” Here’s an example from The Book Designer:

CIP block for print edition of a book

Friedlander tells us that a) CIP, which refers to the “Library of Congress’s Cataloguing in Publication” program, is of primary concern to those who hope to sell to libraries, and that b) self-publishers may not use the CIP program. Instead, they must pay a fee for a Library of Congress “Preassigned Control Number,” otherwise known as a P-CIP.

Only if you hope for a lot of library traffic—perhaps you are publishing a reference book or a book that has content that teachers might assign—would you have a reason to pay for this service.

Here is Friedlander’s complete discussion of CIP:

As my example shows, I did not apply for P-CIP number, and there is probably no reason for you to do so either. As you can see from Friedlander’s downloadable model and my example, all you really need to include are

  • the copyright notice,
  • a statement of your rights,
  • your ISBN
  • a way for people to contact you

Next: What I know about ISBNs.


Filed under book design, business of writing, Copyright, indie publishing, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, Self-publishing, Writing

5 Legal Terms Every Author Should Know…

We never hear this enough! Thanks, Chris!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Extract from an article by Writer and Lawyer Helen Sedgwick:

What is the worst mistake an indie author can make?

A bad book cover? A poorly edited manuscript? A hokey website?

No. It’s losing control over your terms

Pause and Read the Fine Print

Your work is valuable property, just like your car or home. You wouldn’t hand over your car keys to a stranger you met on the internet. You wouldn’t let someone with a slick website move into your guest room. Yet, every day, writers click ACCEPT to contracts with self-publishing companies that take too much control over the author’s work.

Why? Because they can’t bring themselves to read the fine print.

If you are like most people, online contracts with all those legal terms look like 5000 words run through a blender. My goal is to show you where and what to look for, so you can…

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Filed under business of writing, Copyright, ebooks, indie publishing, Money!, Myths and Truths, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, publishing contracts, Self-publishing, small presses, Smashwords, Writing


Follow up to the post below about book theft! Chris the Story Reading Ape supplies links and specific advice, as well as a DMCA form letter and a way to find the offending server. Keep this page!

VERY IMPORTANT!!! DO NOT SEND THE OFFENDING SITE A DIRECT NOTICE. They may be a click farm looking for you email and you will be infected with a virus. If they are on Facebook – Use Facebook’…


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A Reassuring Post at The Book Designer on Piracy


funny cartoon policeman

David Kudler, at Joel Friedlander’s site, reassures us that book piracy may exist but it’s manageable—and who knows, maybe even a good thing once in a while. Have you been through this? How did you deal with it? Let us know!

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