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la-gamine
02-03-2014, 10:22 AM
My MC finds some draft articles written by her mother who passed away about a year before.

I would like to know the general process of getting them published and what complications she might come across? My MC is 16 and her mother was a professional journalist.

wendymarlowe
02-03-2014, 10:43 AM
Is she looking to self-publish, do a vanity press print run, e-publish, get accepted by a traditional house, or what?

In general, she's not going to be able to get them done by a traditional house. The author is dead (strike 1) and the MC is underage for legal contracts (strike 2). She may be able to use a vanity press, though, to e-publish with very little hassle. You can also get print-on-demand with e-presses, so she could have the book "in print" but not have to buy five hundred copies to store in the basement. The per-book cost is a bit high - $15 range for a basic paperback - but it's great for things just like this.

cornflake
02-03-2014, 11:13 AM
I think, though I'm not sure, that the OP is talking about getting articles published, like in magazines.

I'm not sure what's meant by draft articles either - are they assignments she was working on but didn't finish? Are they evergreen pieces she was hoping to pitch?

The most likely way I can think it'd work in the latter scenario would be to contact editors with whom her mother had a relationship and ask if they were interested in the stuff. If it's the former I guess contact them and see in what stage the pieces are and such?

GinJones
02-03-2014, 08:01 PM
You'd need the estate to be probated, and the executor (or the appropriate fiduciary for the relevant jurisdiction) of the estate (or possibly the heir who takes ownership of the copyrights, if the estate has been closed out, although generally it takes a minimum of something more than a year before the estate is complete) would negotiate the contract.

If the minor is the heir of the estate, then upon distribution from the estate, the assets -- including the copyrights -- would be held by a conservator of some sort, and that conservator would make the decision with respect to the copyrights until the minor comes of age in the relevant jurisdction.

Not giving individual legal advice, just general information.

Buffysquirrel
02-03-2014, 08:57 PM
If the MC is underage to enter a contractual relationship with a trade publisher, they're also underage to do so with a vanity press, surely.

la-gamine
02-04-2014, 08:50 AM
I think, though I'm not sure, that the OP is talking about getting articles published, like in magazines.

I'm not sure what's meant by draft articles either - are they assignments she was working on but didn't finish? Are they evergreen pieces she was hoping to pitch?

Yes, they are magazine based articles that were left unfinished. I think them being incomplete assignments makes the most sense for my situation.

Also, I should have specified that the story takes place in 1990 so I don't imagine that e-publishing is applicable.

Bufty
02-04-2014, 03:29 PM
If they are 'incomplete assignments' there would surely have been a contract of some sort between the deceased and whoever wanted the articles.

If there was no contract it seems as though the drafts are worthless.

Subject to the content of any contract it's up to the Executors/heirs to decide what to do but a 'draft' is not the same as a finished manuscript or article. The deceased is a journalist, not an author.

I don't follow why the daughter is pursuing the idea of publication at all. There doesn't seem to be anything to publish.

veinglory
02-04-2014, 07:12 PM
If the MC is underage to enter a contractual relationship with a trade publisher, they're also underage to do so with a vanity press, surely.

The difference, I guess, is that the vanity press is unlikely to notice if she lies about her age.

Cathy C
02-04-2014, 09:03 PM
Okay, I can see where this could be an important plot point. Mom was an investigative journalist. She was working on a big, important article. Daughter finds the draft and thinks it's important enough to either finish and publish, or publish as is.

I presume the story is set in Canada, yes? If so, you might Google "intellectual property & probate & Canada" and you'll get some links to how intellectual property follows probate law.

As the others have said, at 16, she can't do much of anything. But her executor/trix can, so if the daughter is on good terms with an older sibling or her father, or whoever was named in the Last Will, they can work with the magazine/newspaper to get the stories published. Likely, if Mom was a professional journalist, the paper/magazine would probably take the draft and notes and would assign someone to complete it--especially if she was a regular.

Now, if Mom had no Will, it gets trickier. In that case, daughter should talk with whoever the nearest adult is (parent, sibling, aunt/uncle, grandparent) and talk to an attorney about transferring the intellectual property rights. That's the quickest, most logical thing, plot-wise. You don't have to go into detail in the text. Just have her looking in a phone directory for a probate attorney and set an appointment. Next chapter, they've talked and worked out who to call at the newspaper/magazine. The legal details are unnecessary for the plot. :)

la-gamine
02-07-2014, 12:26 AM
I think I've got what I need now, thank you! One last thing I need to know is how the article would be credited if a second author finished the remaining bits of the article? I'm assuming both names would be listed?

Cathy C
02-07-2014, 12:34 AM
If it's a newspaper or a regional magazine, there might not be a byline at all. It depends entirely on the newspaper or magazine. If they do normally have bylines, it would depend on the condition of the article when the second person receives it. Likely if she was a regular with the paper, they would probably give her full credit as a courtesy, with some sort of memorial of her life on the same page. But if it was just mom's notes with no actual text written, then it would likely show both names: "Mary Smith and Jane Jones."