There are many things to consider in publishing your own book. It’s not just enough to actually write the thing. That’s where legal services come in.
I run into a lot of questions when I get to the legal side of things.
If you’re considering writing and self-publishing, then I guarantee you will too. I know I’m no legal expert. That’s why I always turn to legal services when it comes to questions or considerations regarding publishing laws and copyright.
Have you ever wondered why it takes so long to become a lawyer?
Well, I think about things this way. Let’s say you want to publish a book. Even in self-publishing, there are legal considerations to be made.
For a lot of first time authors, the legal side of things is a mirage; you know it’s there, but you have no way to make sense of it. That’s why legal services are such a vital aspect of the self-publishing world.
There’s something to be said about hiring legal experts when you’re limited in budget and time. That’s why services are ideal over hiring an actual lawyer as you get your start. In short, they’re a must in the world of self-publishing.
Table of Contents
What are Legal Services?
I used to think self-publishing was about doing everything yourself.
To be honest, you might feel that way at first.
Some things, however, are just beyond your capabilities. I don’t know much about design, so I hire professionals to help me in that territory. Likewise, I find myself even less acquainted with legalese. In short, legal services are the best way to go about firming up this end of your publishing process.
Overall, legal services include everything from writing up contractual documents to copyright laws and publisher’s rights.
For the most part, content creators traverse quite a lot of legal considerations in the publishing world.
Publishers help with this, but self-publishing means you’re on your own.
Luckily, a lot of well-qualified individuals are ready to help you out.
Types of legal services available
If you’re not familiar with it, then you need to know about Fiverr. The website is a key component in the self-publishing world. On Fiverr, freelancers provide their services to others for hire. Legal services are just one of the many things available on Fiverr and similar sites. Here are some of the services you can hire on Fiverr.
When dealing with publishing and content laws, things need to be clearly laid out and described in writing. Legal writing involves everything from copyright requests, intellectual property filings, and other related documents. If you don’t know the legalese required to write official documents for your book, then hiring someone is essential.
There may be times where your self-published work comes into question from outside parties. When someone questions the authenticity or source of your work, then you need to be ready to find out how credible the threat is. Legal consulting helps to ensure you’re prepared to protect your work, and define things in legal speak. It’s a great way to make sure things are all solid as you progress in your career.
Become a freelancer and start your first legal servics gig today
If you have a background in legal work, then you could freelance your services. Keep in mind, some full time jobs have limitations for whether or not you can freelance.
There are a lot of great clients waiting to hire you and your knowledge. When working in the legal world, you need to remember most people don’t know what you know. I’m not the first to suggest anyone with a background in legal services should look into freelancing.
More on legal services and why they are important
As mentioned above, most people don’t know the first thing about legal work. Copyrights, content protections, and legal rights ensure self-published authors stay protected. The key to legal services is the fact that a lot of people need that sort of work. That’s why it’s important to make sure you know all that goes into legal services, and why they aren’t optional.
In many cases, they are mandatory.
Do you need a license to publish a book?
When your book is purchased by a publisher, then they take care of everything.
In self-publishing, you’re sort of on your own. I know it sounds overwhelming, but you have options.
For example, licensing for publishing a book is required, even if you self-publish. The good news is it’s not terribly hard to obtain.
To publish a book, you should license yourself as a business. You can do so with an LLC, or limited liability company, or a self proprietorship. Both are fairly easy to apply for, depending on your state in which you live.
If you need someone to help walk you through the process, then legal services can help to make the transition much easier.
Do authors own the rights to their books?
Rights to a book are tricky.
For example, if you sign with a publisher, they own the rights to your book.
That means the book is theirs so long as the book’s rights are in circulation. On average, the book is likely going to be theirs for 70+ years. I think for some authors, that can be scary.
The good news is you can retain rights as a self-published author.
When you publish a book under your own name or LLC, then the content remains yours. If you were to option the content to a distributor, then you give up those rights. For a full breakdown of drafting documents to retain the rights to your book, you might want to look into a legal expert’s services.
What is legal publishing?
For a long time, legal publishing only referred to any physical book in circulation for sale or distribution.
Then, the internet changed everything.
I can remember a time where eBooks did not have to be legally published. Essentially, you could just release your book and not worry about legal rights.
Well, now things are a bit different.
Like a physical book, your eBook must be legally published. That requires you to be an LLC or self proprietorship. To find out whether or not you are, it’s ideal to talk to someone in legal services.
This way, they can walk you through all the necessary steps to become a legal self-publishing author. If not, you might get your content removed from the web. Worse, you might not get your book on sites like Amazon.
What is the difference between publishing rights and copyright in legal services?
Publishing rights and copyright are very different. Firstly, copyright is the legal right to your written work. As soon as you write something, then it becomes your property. In this case, your written work may not be stolen by others. For self-published authors, this is important, but so are publishing rights.
I wonder what some consider a good reason to publish something? I think in most cases, the job comes down to selling your work. Sure, you own your written work, but you cannot sell it or distribute it without publishing rights. The distinction, among other things, is important to making sure you’re legally ready to release your book. In short, if you have concerns about the two, then it’s best to consult a legal expert.
Do I need to copyright my book before publishing on Amazon?
If you sell your book on Amazon, then don’t worry about a copyright.
In short, the electronic proof that something is your work is a copyright.
At this point, you would have applied for an LLC, and become a legitimate business. So, what happens if someone questions the copyright? Well, that’s when things get tricky.
Firstly, anyone can technically challenge your right to copyrights. You will, if you want to be safe, make sure to have documentation that something is yours. Amazon checks into these things too, but it’s helpful to have the backup. Overall, having a copyright on top of the Amazon checks might be helpful.
If you want to know more about this, then reach out to a legal services professional on Fiverr.
Do It Yourself – Watch Legal Services on YouTube
I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s best to know something about self-publishing laws yourself. If you hire someone, then they can do the technical work for you. That being said, you want to know what’s happening too. One day, you might be savvy enough to do all of this yourself. A great option is to look into whether or not you can learn with YouTube. YouTube is free, easy, and informational. In short, it’s perfect for self-published authors.
Read How to Do It – The 4 Best Books for Legal Services Issues Related to Self-Publishing
Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook: Updated Guide to Protecting Your Rights and Wallet
It’s not enough to know what your rights are. The important aspect of self-publishing is knowing how to protect yourself agains the letter of the law. In Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook: Updated Guide to Protecting Your Rights and Wallet, you get two important tools in one. Firstly, the book acclimates you to all things legalese in the world of self-publishing. Secondly, you get a reference you can use over and over again.
Some books should stay on your desk as a self-published author. This is one of those important, keep-handy books.
A lot of books are a great source of introduction. Others serve as a great reference for future situations and issues that may arise. In Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook: Updated Guide to Protecting Your Rights and Wallet, Sedwick gets you the information you’ll need now and for your budding book career.
Copyright Handbook, The: What Every Writer Needs to Know
Keep this book handy if you’re writing and self-publishing. It’s going to ensure you have everything you need.
In Copyright Handbook, The: What Every Writer Needs to Know, you’ll learn a number of useful tools for gaining and protecting your creative rights. Book authors know their work is theirs, but do others? In fact, some will try to strip you of your rights if not properly documented and informed.
In an increasingly digital world, online ownership of written content is complicated to those out of the know. To get in the know, you don’t need a law degree. In fact, a copy of Copyright Handbook, The: What Every Writer Needs to Know, along with legal services, helps get you on solid footing before your first book ever even hits Amazon.
Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook: The Step-by-Step Guide to the Legal Issues of Self-Publishing
I’m a big fan of lists and how-to books, and this is one of the best. I have a copy of Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook: The Step-by-Step Guide to the Legal Issues of Self-Publishing from when I first began publishing research on my own to my website. There are a ton of great, informative passages in this book, culminating in a complete review of what you need to know to self-publish.
For years, people have wondered what sort of laws impact self-published authors. A lot of books cover some of the important info, but Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook: The Step-by-Step Guide to the Legal Issues of Self-Publishing covers it all.
It’s tough to get into the world of self-publishing laws and regulations, but this book introduces you to everything.
Register Your Book: The Essential Guide to ISBNs, Barcodes, Copyright, and LCCNs
As we discussed in the above sections, publishing your book is a bit more complicated than it used to be. In Register Your Book: The Essential Guide to ISBNs, Barcodes, Copyright, and LCCNs, learn all there is to know about getting your book online and in libraries across the country.
There’s a clear way to register your book for the publishing world. If you’re looking for answers, then look no further.
Special considerations go into whether or not a book can enter listings online for libraries and databases. To fully learn what you’ll need to qualify for those sources, pick up a copy of Register Your Book: The Essential Guide to ISBNs, Barcodes, Copyright, and LCCNs and discover all you’ll need to know about registering your self-published book.
Legal Services FAQ
If you’re still a little lost, then let’s go over some FAQs about legal services.
Do authors own the rights to their books?
Authors own the rights to their book as property. Intellectual property rights, however, do not extend to distribution and selling. If you publish with a publisher, then they own your book. If you do things yourself, then you need to make sure you’re legally publishing the work in order to own its distribution.
Do you need a license to publish a book?
Yes, in order to publish both physical and digital books, you need to have a license. You either need to be a self-proprietorship or be a limited liability company (LLC). Doing both is fairly easy, and requires some minimal changes from state to state in the US. Make sure to brush up on what you need ahead of publishing your book online.
Who holds the copyright to a book?
A copyright to a book is the author’s property unless they hire a publisher. When working with a publisher, the work becomes their property through a contract. If self-publishing, then the content is yours. When you plan to sell your book, then make sure to legally obtain the rights to do so.
What is the difference between publishing rights and copyright?
Copyright strictly refers to intellectual property being yours. If you write something, then you own it thanks to simple copyright laws. Publishing rights, however, refer to whether or not you sign the content over to another company. Likewise, you can self-publish, but must yourself be an LLC or self-proprietorship. Both are easy to obtain and take little time.
Overall, legal services help millions of self-publishing authors to obtain their dreams. Firstly, legal services help make sense of the insane legal world we live in. Secondly, legal services ensure your work is protected and safe from theft. Thirdly, legal professionals help to ensure your book is ready to reach the masses, whether it be online or physically. Hiring legal services is easy thanks to things like Fiverr. Plus, there are countless candidates ready to help you achieve your dreams.
When considering a career in self-publishing, then you must consider legal services as part of the process.
I am not an expert, so I turn to those who are for all my legal needs.
Don’t worry about the costs of an expensive lawyer. In fact, many freelance legal experts are a fraction of the cost of a full time lawyer. In short, there are a lot of options you have at your disposal. If you want to self-publish, then hiring legal services is an easy way to get closer to your goal!
Do you know what legal services you might need to self-publish? If you’re thinking about hiring legal services, then what questions do you hope an expert might be able to answer?