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cookiehead
06-03-2008, 11:01 PM
Hi everyone: I am a freelance writer, who finally has a decent book idea. At least I am interested in it! :)

My subject would require lots of research and interviews -- mainly interviews. So my first question is: Why would people want to be in my book? What's in it for them?

Also, do I need to get all of these people to sign something saying they agreed to be in my book?

I am in the very early stages and feel really goofy asking these questions. Any help is appreciated!

soleary
06-03-2008, 11:04 PM
Can you share the topic? It might help give you the right answers. I am writing a non-fiction at present, and the people who are in it were excited to participate. I don't use their real names if they ask me not to, and do have 'em sign waivers. I don't know if it is legally necessary to do so, however, provided I am telling the truth. (Scott McClellan certainly didn't get George W.'s approval on his tell all book). Good luck!

cookiehead
06-03-2008, 11:07 PM
Not sure if I am ready to share the topic. Does that sound weird and paranoid? Is that something that I don't have to worry about here??

Basically though, it involves interviewing writers... I think if I were asked, I would love to participate. I guess I am just a pessimist!

Soleary: Did you make up the document yourself or did you have a lawyer? Not sure if I am ready for the lawyer thing yet.

soleary
06-03-2008, 11:17 PM
I did it myself. I'm in marketing, and have prepared enough docs to be comfy with doing one. I don't think you'll need one, though. Don't worry about not sharing topics. We all do what we need to do to keep our sanity :).

archetypewriting
06-08-2008, 08:27 AM
I think a lot of people like to just have a chance to talk about themselves and feel heard. The author of Writing in Flow talks in the back of the book about seeking out people (ie writers) to interview. Some were very open to her idea, some felt that she would be messing with the "magic" of writing by asking about it.

I'm part of a network that gets journalists' requests for interviews, and nobody ever seems to have trouble finding people. Experts like to be interviewed to increase name recognition and "platform"; non-experts just like to be heard, I think.

Dale Emery
06-08-2008, 01:35 PM
Not sure if I am ready to share the topic. Does that sound weird and paranoid? Is that something that I don't have to worry about here??

Anyone can read this site without an account. And the site is indexed by the major search engines.

Dale

saf1367
06-10-2008, 02:09 AM
I'm part of a network that gets journalists' requests for interviews, and nobody ever seems to have trouble finding people. Experts like to be interviewed to increase name recognition and "platform"; non-experts just like to be heard, I think.

What is this network? I have only heard of Profnet but I'm interested in other networks that might make locating experts easier.

scope
06-10-2008, 02:57 AM
Some (most) will probably want to be included in your book if for no reason other than egotism (it's nice to see your name in print) -- and some won't. I would always err on the side of caution and get waivers. Make sue the waiver (permissions form) covers all the bases. If you can afford an intellectual rights attorney, that's the way to go. If not do a heck of a lot of research and prepare the best and most thorough permissions letter you can.

cpickett
06-10-2008, 08:18 PM
I have interviewed people for a book I'm working on and I did not have anyone sign a waiver. I didn't really even think about it. I sent emails asking if they'd like to be interviewed, gave a brief overview of the project so they would know if they felt comfortable being included but that's about it. Some sent responses via email and a few were done by phone. By their reply, they are indicating a willingness to participate and acknowledging you plan to use what they say in a book (otherwise why did they respond?).

I only had a couple of people turn me down out of about twenty or so I contacted I think, which I fully expected. As has been mentioned, most of the time people agree to be interviewed because they can get a little publicity out of it by saying they were quoted in a book. There are also some who do it simply because they were asked, to help the writer and to share information.

With regard to sharing your topic, I wouldn't be concerned about talking about your topic generically by saying something like it's about publishing a book, or training dogs or basket weaving. In all reality, you actually want to do this on purpose and often, first to gauge interest, second because you never know who knows who that could be a connection you've been looking for. It will also be good practice for when you do your marketing/promotion as you'll want to get people's attention, but not give everything away.

One other side but related note, just like with freelancing, if someone says they want to read what you write before you use it, you don't have to let them do so and I would suggest you don't. Doing this can create a never-ending quagmire of them wanting to make changes etc. One way to work with such people is to show them direct quotes if you wish, just to verify facts/figures are correct.

tombookpub
06-16-2008, 07:01 AM
If you're provding a single quote to a single source for approval, all you can expect is a reply from them with their comments or possible recollections of saying something different. What is this never-ending quagmire you speak of?!?!?. Based on his/her initial response, I would not expect a great deal of back and forth, tete a tete negotiations. The author would respectfully make a decision, inform the source, and move on. No need to discuss ad nauseum, ad infinitum....

scope
06-16-2008, 09:17 AM
Cheryl,

Just curious. How did you come to all the positive conclusions you mention in your post? Again, I'm anything but an attorney, yet it seems to me that you leave open many dangerous loopholes.

cpickett
06-16-2008, 05:25 PM
Hi,
Tombookpub, there's probably a small risk of the never ending quagmire, but I just mentioned it because if the interviews are longer, there may be opportunity for multiple quotes, and sometimes people just don't understand the process as more experienced writers do.

Scope, I'm no where near being a legal expert either. I'm going by the fact that I never get releases from anyone I interview as a freelancer. Whether I've written for newspapers, magazines, ezines, I just do the interview and use the quotes.

Occasionally, people ask if they can read what I've written ahead of time (luckily they've understood it's not normally allowed), but I've not had anyone have issue beyond that. I have had people turn me down and not want to be interviewed, but again, once someone agrees, they know what they say to me is going to be used somehow.

Truthfully, in my opinion, striving to be as accurate as humanly possible, fact checking/double checking, having a good relationship/communication with your interview subjects is where our greatest protection comes from.

But no matter which of these strategies you have in place, there's still room for error, it's happened to me as an interviewee. What happens then depends a lot on how and by whom the piece is published, but let's hope those circumstances are few and far between :-)

brc23
07-07-2008, 08:23 AM
Could someone give me some insight here?

I am unpublished, writing a fitness book. Here's a hypothetical one for you.

In one chapter I make up a routine of exercises. (NOT the theme of my book, just ONE group of exercises in an entire book.)

Let's say I want to call it the "Krispie Kreme Routine"

I know it's copy written. Obviously. How do I go about asking permission to use that name? And what if I feel like it would take their name in a new direction and want to ask their marketing team to embrace this new routine and use it in their ads?


Quite honestly I think after they got off the floor laughing at me they would tell me to go to hell. I just wondered if anyone has tried this before and how to go about it.

AND do I ask BEFORE my book has a publisher? Or after? Cause if I had contacted a giant company and they seemed the least bit interested it would help me get published sooo much faster. But then again, a major company probably won't look at an unpublished person seriously. So I guess I just don't know what to do first.

benbradley
07-07-2008, 08:54 AM
...
Let's say I want to call it the "Krispie Kreme Routine"
Actually that's spelled Krispy Kreme, and they might come at you for misspelling their name, among other things.

I know it's copy written.
Actually, a two-word name is too short to be covered by copyright, but that name is surely covered by trademark.

Obviously. How do I go about asking permission to use that name? And what if I feel like it would take their name in a new direction and want to ask their marketing team to embrace this new routine and use it in their ads?


Quite honestly I think after they got off the floor laughing at me they would tell me to go to hell. I just wondered if anyone has tried this before and how to go about it.

AND do I ask BEFORE my book has a publisher? Or after? Cause if I had contacted a giant company and they seemed the least bit interested it would help me get published sooo much faster. But then again, a major company probably won't look at an unpublished person seriously. So I guess I just don't know what to do first.
My understanding from reading previous threads is you just leave it in the manuscript, and if when a publisher buys it it will have its lawyer(s) look at it, and if they think it's a problem they'll either get permission from the trademark owner or ask you to change it. (I hope the antecedents of all those 'it's are clear) My layman's guess is an "ordinary" mention such as "the cop stopped by the local Krispy Kreme..." wouldn't need permission, maybe just a note on the copyright page that "Krispy Kreme is a trademark of so-and-so." But your use of it as the name of some sort of routine or exercise makes it more than just a passing mention, so the lawyers will surely pay more attention to that.

brc23
07-07-2008, 09:27 PM
Actually, a two-word name is too short to be covered by copyright, but that name is surely covered by trademark.

Thanks that didn't look right to me either! ;) The whole sentence was wrong.

It should have been, "I know Krispy Kreme has a copyright."

It was late. HA!

So back to the point, I should just write it like I have permission and then risk having to completely change the idea later?

aka eraser
07-07-2008, 10:05 PM
...So back to the point, I should just write it like I have permission and then risk having to completely change the idea later?

That's got my vote. I don't think a change to something generic like "Donut Doin's" will affect things too much. You're not changing the exercises, just a label.

jennifer75
07-07-2008, 10:16 PM
Hi everyone: I am a freelance writer, who finally has a decent book idea. At least I am interested in it! :)

My subject would require lots of research and interviews -- mainly interviews. So my first question is: Why would people want to be in my book? What's in it for them?

Also, do I need to get all of these people to sign something saying they agreed to be in my book?

I am in the very early stages and feel really goofy asking these questions. Any help is appreciated!

I would think that if you are going as far as to interview these people, you'll be using their words? In that case, approval would be good I'd imagine. If you aren't using their words exactly, will you be changing the names, etc.?

veinglory
07-08-2008, 06:56 AM
People like people who are interested in what they have done. people like to talk about themselves. I think people will take part if you manage to convince them that you will listen to them and respect what they say. Just my 0.02.

Nick Russell
08-04-2008, 09:08 AM
There is no sweeter sound than that of your own name. Likewise in print. We all have egos, and if your subjects are comfortable that you will not portray them in a negative way, I think many, if not all, should be receptive.

brc23
08-06-2008, 02:59 AM
OK here's another doozy. Ugh...

I read everywhere where it says "Don't get hooked on your title, cause it will probably be changed...."

Well ok then how do you do marketing before hand? I also read, you should buy the domain to your name...and your book title...super...so you buy it and then the pub. changes your book name? I guess just wait.

I just think it's odd it's the lead in every query and proposal and it's probably the first thing that changes.

brc23
08-28-2008, 01:03 AM
Quick Question: Could someone point me to where this is talked about? The site is huge! ;)
When 'packaging' up your proposal I remember someone saying, no fancy binding or plastic covers and all that jazz...but do you staple all your sheets together? Paper clip? Then put pages numbers and footnotes?

I can't remember where I saw this info....Where's my dunce hat?

scope
08-28-2008, 01:44 AM
Don't staple or bind in any manner. Loose pages in numerical order. After Title Page proposal starts with page 2 as noted in header top right, preceded by your last name and short version of title.
For example: Smith/Tasks/2

Same (except for changing page numbers) for all pages that follow.

At least that's how I do it.

brc23
08-28-2008, 02:00 AM
Muchas Gracias!

Muah!

Lauri B
08-29-2008, 03:38 AM
OK here's another doozy. Ugh...

I read everywhere where it says "Don't get hooked on your title, cause it will probably be changed...."

Well ok then how do you do marketing before hand? I also read, you should buy the domain to your name...and your book title...super...so you buy it and then the pub. changes your book name? I guess just wait.

I just think it's odd it's the lead in every query and proposal and it's probably the first thing that changes.

Titles change because authors usually (but not always) don't know as much about marketing books as publishers do. Publishers know their markets. They also have a sales team and/or distributors who also know how to sell books. Sometimes that involves simply having a title that has certain keywords so it's easy for book buyers to know what they are buying (I'm talking about more than consumers here). For example, if you have a travel book about an ocean going voyage about the world, but name it, "Doing Yoga in Tibet" (and this isn't just a ridiculous example; I just saw a book in my library last week with a title almost exactly like this, and the book was really about the ocean-going voyage), it's not going to be obvious to cataloguers, book buyers, or anyone else trying to figure out where to place your book what the book is about, or what category it belongs in. But aside from really obvious examples, titles also help bookstores place books in particular categories. The easier a publisher can make that for a book buyer, the more likely the book will be placed properly, displayed properly, and sold. Sometimes publishers will ask for lots of author input on titles; I know lots of authors who have made that a contingency in their contracts. Other publishers don't give a darn what the author thinks the title should be, and they change it based on feedback from their marketing department. At some point you have to trust that your publisher has enough experience and marketing savvy to title your book for the best sales potential.

As far a pre-promoting your book, if you want to buy a domain name or whatever, try to buy a name that reflects your book's subject instead of the exact title you have for your manuscript. Good luck!

brc23
08-29-2008, 05:42 AM
Thanks for your response Lauri...after 'learning something new everyday' in here I completely agree. I never thought they did it maliciously. ;)

Plus you can't have a website with your book title and promote it when you don't have a book with that title out yet. So that just makes sense.

Thanks again!