34

In the US, an author holds the copyright to his work for all his life, and his heirs hold it for 70 years after his death, at which point the work becomes public domain. (source) In other countries the number of years after the author's death may vary, but I do not know of a single country nowadays where copyright expired before author's death. (This used to ...


22

Yes...but... Yes, of course you can use your pen name. Your audiences need never hear anything different. None of your marketing materials need give your real name. The issue comes when you need to do things officially. Say, you get booked for a lecture and they set up transportation or a hotel for you. You need ID for those, so they'll need to be in ...


21

Minor point as I've met people who don't get this - authors and publishers are only paid for the new copies of their books. When you buy books from any kind of second-hand store, it's only the store owner getting the money. I came to the belated realisation that my years of finding old SF books in such stores wasn't helping authors and started buying e-...


17

Your student worker sounds like a valuable assistant. But he is not a translator. Even if he were doing actual translation work, a co-translator indicates someone doing work at the same level that you are, or close. And he's not. If you want to acknowledge his contribution to your manuscript, by all means give him credit within the book. This can be ...


16

Some people are volunteers, and they never get paid (except with a verbal or written thank you). Some people get paid as soon as they do something (e.g. a waiter paid almost entirely in tips). Some people get paid at the end of the day. Some people get paid at the end of the week. Some people get paid at the end of the month. You are working a job where ...


10

This is called poetic license. Although the more familiar use of the term is to depart from the facts for a better sounding story or phrase, the use of it to mean departure from standard grammar and syntax is arguably the more foundational one, as attested by this entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica: Poetic license, the right assumed by poets to alter ...


8

Well, first of all, Picasso never said it. Please see, for example, this investigation which could find no evidence to suggest Picasso ever said this. In fact, the earliest quote that could be found to resemble the non-Picasso quote was by W. H. Davenport Adams, who wrote "That great poets imitate and improve, whereas small ones steal and spoil." T. S. ...


7

If money and time is not a problem, then why shouldn't you? It can't hurt. The big benefit of a personal website is that you can list all your stories there (what answers the question what you should put there ;)). So you have one page where you can link to in your e-books or mention the URL in your paper books. If the reader liked your story he can go to ...


7

Another thing to consider when writing your ending is not what you want, nor what you think the audience wants, but rather what does the story want? I am a firm believer that if you tell a story well, the ending will feel right to you and to the reader alike. If instead you get to the end of your tale and the ending you want doesn't "fit" what you want, ...


7

Some writers put their image on the back of books, some don't. I think in the end as long as you provide it as a choice and not make the image required, you shouldn't have an issue. Some people may not want their picture up at all because they don't want their appearance to decide if they should read the book or not. Someone may not want to read the ...


7

Speaking from personal experience, as one who as published under multiple pseudonyms, I would have relished the ability to have a non-identifying image in place of a headshot. So many creative ways to have fun with this that could actually enhance the reader's experience by commenting on the work. We are in the post-modern era, after all. (Not to mention, ...


7

Assuming that you are referring to works published in the USA, it depends on: who owns the copyright and the specific terms of the contract. In some cases, the publisher owns the copyright. In some cases, the author is entitled to royalties only after the publisher earns the amount paid as an advance. Often books don't earn more than the initial advance, ...


7

As a writer with a day job (programmer) I wondered why was I so much more successful as a programmer than a writer? Here are some of the answers I discerned: I go to work every day as a programmer, whether I feel like it or not. I don't get emotionally tied up in people's responses to my programming work. I'm process-focused, not goal-focused, in my day ...


5

Stories are like puzzles. You start by outlining the whole thing, than add one piece after the other, taking care that the new pieces fit the work you have already created. The ending of a story is the last piece you insert into your puzzle: It completes the picture, and only when it is in place will you be able to understand the story in its entirety. ...


5

There are several strands to your question intertwined. Because I can't tell which is the most important aspect for you, my answer may end up focussing on the less important areas from your point of view, but I will give it a go anyway. 1) How does an author make clear that an unfavourable portrayal of a demographic does not necessarily represent their ...


5

I have heard of, and seen, such a thing—although I can't think of a specific book at the moment. It certainly doesn't seem odd at all, especially if each author does want to express themself separately. It would take the form of an "Acknowledgements" page with "Author A would like to thank . . .," followed by "Author B would like to that . . ." The same ...


5

It must be by agreement among the authors. If one author is well known and the others are not, it is common to put the well-known author first, in the hope that this will improve sales. Some authors put the one who they think has done the most work on a book first. Some use alphabetical order, or some other arbitrary choice. If the same pair or set of ...


5

This will depend entirely on the employment contract your friend had with the organisation and local employment law (I'm not in the US and I'm not a lawyer) but in most cases work done by an employee is entirely the property of the organisation, and they can do what they like with it. In many cases the employer will not only own the copyright to the employee'...


5

No, that would be dishonest. If you say "I am an illustrator", that means that you draw illustrations. The fact that I bought a piece of beef at the grocery store does not make me a cattle rancher. I own the beef, but I didn't raise the cow. You can say, "I wrote this book and I also own the copyright on the illustrations" or something to that effect. If ...


4

Besides "personal privacy" there is "professional privacy", an author that holds a sensitive full time job, in public, may not want to publish under their real name because the content of their fiction may have some impact on their professional life. Their fiction may, for example, contain explicit blow-by-blow sex scenes, or portray homosexuality or drug ...


4

I would probably act as Doyle did. 1) Certain of my popularity as an author, I would kill the character and hope people started reading my other books. 2) Gradually become frustrated. 3) Eventually write another Holmes story, possibly while grumbling. Oh, to have such a problem.


4

Choose a male name or use initials only for the first name creating ambiguity. Also if you watch, most folks will go to the middle of the shelf to start browsing. So make sure the last name starts with G-M to get center placement.


4

I do not, to my knowledge ever. I am not a lawyer but I believe copyright applies: If the sentence or fragment you want to use is original (meaning it cannot be found in multiple sources or from a time prior to its publication) then that author holds the "copyright", and you are violating it. This has been held up in court for even three notes of a song ("My ...


4

Stealing is bad. Quite aside from it being illegal, what satisfaction would you draw from presenting someone else's work? It's not yours, the praise it gets is not to you. Being inspired by another author, on the other hand, is good. A work of art should inspire. And there's nothing wrong with deliberately going and seeking out the particular inspiration ...


4

Why would it be illegal or unethical to represent yourself as the author of the book you wrote under a different name? I know I would go to a lecture given by John le Carre and never expect him to announce himself as anyone other than le Carre. Taking this example further, I might be disappointed should he take the podium and announce his real name. I want ...


4

When it comes to crediting people, it's best to let themselves decide, unless there are some rules/guidelines that enforce a specific scheme that you must follow. So, if you still have contact with Alice, just ask her. Perhaps she just doesn't want her legal name out there, but wouldn't mind being credited by a pen name. This is by far the easiest route to ...


3

@Lostinfrance's answer above was good, so I'm just going to add a few more things to consider. The nature of the offense. Some offensive material is less sensitive in nature than others. Erotica and pornography aren't as alienating as racism or totalitarianism. If an author cares about this, the author should be prepared. The motives behind the offending ...


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