Oh No! It’s the Writing Bug Again!

Image: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As if I didn’t have enough creative ideas buzzing around in my head, a bus ride home from school yesterday spawned an idea for a brand new Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel.  Problem is, I’ve only just published the first book in my existing Fantasy trilogy.  I also manage this blog, manage So Powered Productions, use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and (soon) After Effects.  I’m also at school half of the day and I work part-time.  When will I have time to write something new?  I honestly don’t know.  All I can do right now is make notes in Notepad and save them someplace where I won’t forget about them.  Sometimes I think I have just too many hobbies and not enough time to follow them!

The Benefits of Audiobooks

You’ve probably heard of audiobooks, the sound recordings of books which you can play on your iPod or Sansa (etc.).  But perhaps you’ve been avoiding them, or just not bothering with them at all.  You think, ‘I’d rather read the book,’ or maybe ‘I’d rather read my Kindle.’  So why bother with transferring those long mp3 files to your player?

Personally, I’m a fairly busy person.  I get up early in the morning, ride busses for an hour and a half to get to school, half an hour to get back home, and when I’m not hanging out with friends I’m probably working on my website, playing in Photoshop, or checking my Facebook account.  I don’t make a lot of time for actual book reading.

Then, along came Rick Riordan’s ‘The Son of Neptune’, a book I’d been waiting a year for.  Upon its release, I decided to seriously cut the time spent on my library’s waiting list by downloading the audiobook from their electronic lending library (note: if your library has a system like mine, where you can check out electronic items for a week or two, do make use of it!).  I put the files on my Sansa Fuze and listened to them on the bus, while surfing the web, and in bed before deciding to go to sleep.  By listening to that audiobook, I discovered that audiobooks:

  • Allow you to ‘read’ in the dark
  • Allow you to ‘read’ where fiction books might not be welcome
  • Save space in your home or backpack (after all, what’s a few MB of space on your player nowadays?)
  • Allow you to multi-task (i.e., ‘read’ while washing dishes, or while surfing the internet)
  • Save you the trouble of figuring out how to pronounce Greek names (okay, a little specific here, but you get the point)

So far, my experience with audiobooks has been good, and I certainly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t yet discovered their benefits.  How have your experiences been?

Registering Copyright Licenses

When publishing your work on Lulu.com, you will be asked if you want to select a copyright license.  You’re given a list of ten or so licenses to choose from, and now you’re thinking, ‘what’s this madness?’

If you are really concerned with people stealing your work, then I’ll make the decision easier for you: the first choice on the list, a standard copyright license will probably be the best match.  It’s really not that hard to register (disclaimer: I have not personally tried this method, so please don’t consider any of this legal advice).

Filing

Now, Lulu.com does not require any kind of registration code when it comes time to put in copyright information during the publishing process, which means you could just put in the year and your name and you’d be good (again, this is not legal advice!).  Here’s an article which I found quite helpful in understanding the copyrighting process.

Basically what you have to do is download and print a form, fill it out, then send it in to the Library of Congress with 2 copies of your finished book (here we’re implying that you’re printing your book.  I’m not sure yet how you would submit 2 ebook copies and a form to obtain a copyright for that ebook).  There’s more information on Lulu.com on the process.

Cost

If you decide to go for a standard copyright license, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost.  If you have already published your book, then it will cost whatever you pay to get 2 copies of your own work, the $45 filing fee, and postage.  You then send out your package, wait for a while for confirmation(your copyright takes effect as soon as the package arrives at the Library of Congress), and then you’ve got your books legally protected and (bonus!) in the Library of Congress.  Then you can take a trip to Washington D.C. and try to find your work!

Hopefully this answers some of your questions concerning copyrighting.  If you have any remarks or questions please feel free to comment!