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Tom Chalmers blog posts

Rights & Licensing A-Z

Rights & Licensing

In the first part of this article we looked at the wider book rights and licensing arena. In this post, I’d like to offer a snapshot of the most commonly traded rights.


Anthology and Quotation Rights

These are the rights for the publisher to grant permission for another publication to quote from or include your work in an anthology. The author would usually be consulted before this took place.

Audio Rights (Abridged) 

The right to record a shortened version (you may get approval of the abridgement) of your book for sale on tape, CD or digital download.

Audio Rights (Unabridged)

The right to record the full, verbatim text of your book for sale on tape, CD or digital download.

Book Club Rights

Book Clubs such as The Book People and Scholastic Book Fairs receive high discounts from publishers for committing to a certain number of copies - as a result the terms agreed in your contract will be different to the terms for other book sales.

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The Right Ways To Monetise Your Content

Being a self-published or indie author is akin to running a small business; the problem is that some do not truly appreciate this fact. It’s easy to get embroiled in the creative process and then once this is finished to consider it ‘job done’. But this is only the start. And, as we will focus on in this two part blog, an often misunderstood but vital component within this small business to help maximise revenue streams and reach a wider audience is rights and licensing.

The reality is that monetising works can be difficult. Immediate obstacles appear to be marketing, PR and distribution - with all too many ignoring rights and licensing. And I don’t say this lightly. Our team have had all too many conversations with authors who:

  • a) Have no idea what rights and licensing actually means
  • b) Don’t know what rights they actually hold
  • c) Don’t realise how valuable they are
  • d) Fail to protect them, never mind monetise them

Not that it’s necessarily their fault. Historically, the …

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Copyright & IP – Friend or Foe?

Writing advice

I need to be careful what I say and exactly how I say it, but copyright is everywhere. A quick search on the news section on Google (other search engines are available) shows ‘about’ 194,000,000 results - quite some number. Headlines, currently on the first page of the search, range from musicians threatening to sue UK.gov to digital copyright issues affecting car modifications. And small businesses complaining about a lack of transparency from copyright collection societies to the curious case of the Sherlock Holmes copyright saga after the US Supreme Court refused an appeal.

For authors, copyright and intellectual property (IP) can be scary words. But these are words that really matter, no matter how fearful you might be of them, especially with the emergence of digital media and the way information is retrieved.

It may sound very dry, but if you’re a self-published author you need to fully understand all facets of your IP, including copyright. This will …

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