35 votes
Accepted

Do living authors still get paid royalties for their old work?

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 ...
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22 votes
Accepted

Can I give a lecture about my book without disclosing my real name?

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 ...
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22 votes

Do living authors still get paid royalties for their old work?

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 ...
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  • 399
17 votes

Can one be a co-translator of a book, if he does not know the language that the book is translated into?

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 ...
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16 votes

How can one "treat writing as a job" even though it doesn't pay?

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 ...
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10 votes
Accepted

What is it called when poets changing grammar rules?

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 ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Do writers copy other writers?

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 ...
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  • 11.6k
8 votes

Do living authors still get paid royalties for their old work?

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 ...
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7 votes

Should I follow my instinct or public demand when writing a story?

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,...
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  • 309
7 votes

Should I bother allowing images (headshots) for pen names?

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 ...
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  • 4,561
7 votes

Should I bother allowing images (headshots) for pen names?

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 ...
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  • 341
7 votes

How can one "treat writing as a job" even though it doesn't pay?

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, ...
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5 votes

Should I follow my instinct or public demand when writing a story?

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 ...
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  • 1,794
5 votes

How do writers differentiate personal beliefs from the messages of their writing in public discourse?

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 ...
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  • 2,911
5 votes
Accepted

Are separate acknowledgements sections for co-authors odd?

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 ...
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5 votes
Accepted

In a novel with multiple authors, how do we determine in what order the names should appear?

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 ...
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  • 3,690
5 votes

Authorship when author leaves the organization that published the article?

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 ...
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5 votes

Author and Illustration owner

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 ...
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  • 25.2k
4 votes

Why do writers use pseudonyms?

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 ...
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  • 91k
4 votes

Should I follow my instinct or public demand when writing a story?

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) ...
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4 votes
Accepted

What to consider when choosing a pen name for a sci-fi novel?

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 ...
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  • 552
4 votes

Do writers copy other writers?

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 ...
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  • 91k
4 votes

Do writers copy other writers?

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 ...
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4 votes

Can I give a lecture about my book without disclosing my real name?

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 ...
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  • 12.4k
4 votes

How does authorship and copyright work in translation?

Copyright works somewhat differently depending on jurisdiction, and we can't give legal advice here, but this is a rough summary of how it tends to work: If someone translates a copyrighted work, the ...
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  • 323
4 votes

How should an anonymous translator be credited?

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 ...
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  • 226
3 votes

How do writers differentiate personal beliefs from the messages of their writing in public discourse?

@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 ...
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  • 1,171

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