Hi Jim,

I see you’ve got a new book coming out. I’m also working on getting a book published, and I was wondering how you decide how much information you release on your book at a time. Like, if your book isn’t published yet, do you worry about releasing too much information that someone could steal? Or that you may be giving too much away at once?

Thanks,
Mike


Hey Mike, 

Good question, and shockingly timely. The truth of the matter is that, according to copyright law in the U.S., your work is copyrighted the moment you put pen to paper. Now, good luck proving that it’s your work in a court of law without timestamps and hard evidence that you created the work first.

Now, some people don’t care. Unless you’re posting whole chapters online, stealing some elements of your idea are going to be surface-level at best. Even if you could prove that they took it from you, you’d be laughed out of court for trying, because story ideas, themes, etc. aren’t really something you can copyright. (Keeping in mind, I am not a lawyer, so don’t look at this as legal advice! Seek out an actual attorney!)

Think about it, Disney came out with a movie recently about a dragons and a girl named Raya.

Gee… doesn’t that sound familiar?

Drakin-Cover-Poster-Final

Or how about Lionsgate putting out a story about a blonde immortal girl named Adaline that gives up her immortality for love.

Hmm…

divinity9

Now, as curiously close to home as some of this gets, these things simply fall outside the realm of copyright in most areas. It makes for a fun quip, but nothing more. Now, if they’re taking your story a lot more blatantly, that’s something completely different. 

But I’ve digressed from the original question…

For me, I post very little until I have the copyright, ISBN, and legal out of the way. Basically, I submit my work to the copyright office once I have the cover completed. That way, I can add the cover and the interior text to the ISBN for publication. Now you have everything documented, you can release what you want. 
So typically, here’s how I do things to protect myself when doing status updates? This is my formula:

Book is being written: Nothing. I don’t like doing announcements when I don’t even have a first draft down. This puts a lot of pressure on me and if I scrap the project, I don’t want to have to come back later with an explanation to the people who were waiting for the book. 

Book is in draft form and approved by publisher: Initial announcement of a new book coming. 
I release very generic info:
What series. 
What Genre.
How far along we are in the process.
Maybe a little bit about where it takes place in the series… and that’s it. 

Book is in final draft form, legal is underway, cover not done: Minor status update on the book. 
Repeat the previous:
What series.
What genre.
How far along we are in the process. 
A little about where the series takes place. 

Cover is done, everything is submitted for registry and ISBN has been added:
Reveal cover.
Give readers a tentative release date.
Reveal cover blurb.
Repeat the previous:
What series.
What genre.
How far along we are in the process. 
A little about where the series takes place. 

Book is released:
Announce the book is out. Reveal the blurb again. 
Add links to where the book can be purchased, as well as basic info: Copyright, ISBN number, Book identifiers, etc. 
Add sample chapter.

I hope this helps you figure out how you want to keep you readers in the know. Remember, everyone has varying degrees of comfort, so don’t think that what I’m saying is a must or even recommended. Let’s open it up to some of my fellow writers. How do you all handle status updates on your books? Do you not even bother until it’s set to release or do you try to build suspense and anticipation? 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

1 Comment on “Keeping your Readers in the Know #Writing #Author #Advice

  1. 10 years ago I had an idea for a Nordic fantasy story about a hero from a bloodline blessed with incredible powers, and people of this bloodline were called Dragonborn. And then Elder Scrolls: Skyrim was released to universal acclaim haha.

    Unfortunately new indie authors worry way too much about their work being stolen. I was one of them, too. But the simple fact is that, in all honesty, no one really wants to steal your book as an unknown and currently unpublished author. Pirates will try to loot an idea from Stephen King or James Patterson, not Joe Shmoe with a blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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