Posts Tagged With: Book review

ARTICLE: Plagiarism, Copyright, & Fair Use Irene Watson @BLOGGINGAUTHORS #mwn

Expert Author Irene Watson

You love a poem you saw on the Internet and want to quote it in your book. But is that plagiarism? You want to quote a passage in a book but you’re not sure whether you need to ask permission or not. What counts as fair use and when do you need permission to use a copyrighted work?

All the time I see people stealing from other people on the Internet by reposting their articles, stories, or photographs. Before you post anyone else’s information on your website or use it in your book, you need to get permission. Yes, there are such things as public domain and fair use, but it’s always best to be safe regardless. Before you decide to use something that belongs to someone else and risk angering that person and facing a potential lawsuit, ask yourself a few questions:

1. Do I really need this piece of information, poem, cartoon, or whatever it is? Will my book or website be okay without it?
2. Is this item in the public domain?
3. If it’s not in the public domain, can I use part of it under the fair use laws?
4. Can I rewrite or reword the work and then reprint it?
5. Is giving credit enough?

Let’s look at each of these questions in detail.

Do I really need this piece of information? Will my book or website be okay without it?

I can almost guarantee that in every situation the information, document, poem, cartoon, or whatever it is, is something you can do without. Why use someone else’s property to illustrate your own? Hire your own cartoonist, artist, or write your own poem. If you can’t do that, then look for one in the public domain. If you, however, absolutely want to include something that is copyrighted, then be prepared to pay for it. You will need to contact the owner or his or her heir for permission, and you will doubtless have to sign some sort of document promising you will only use it as you are given permission to do so. You will also usually have to pay to use it, especially if it is for commercial purposes, such as in a book you plan to sell, and you’ll usually pay dear for it-in the hundreds of dollars or more is not uncommon. At that price, do you really need to include it in your book or on your website?

Is this item in the public domain?

Just what constitutes public domain? It varies by country and by the kind of work it is. Today for authors, copyright in the United States is for life plus 70 years, so if I were to die tomorrow, it being the year 2012, anything I write would be copyrighted until 2082. However, copyright laws were less stringent in the past so some works may have shorter copyrights that have expired. As a rule, if an author or artist has been dead since 1941 or earlier, you’re probably safe, but it still never hurts to investigate. Furthermore, while an old work like “Don Quixote” may be in the public domain, that doesn’t mean a modern translation of it is.

What counts as fair use?

If a work is not in the public domain, a lot of the time you can still use a small part of it if appropriate, such as a quote or passage, usually not to exceed a page. That said, a short work like a poem cannot be used in its entirety despite its short length because you will be using the whole work, but you might be able to quote a verse or stanza from it. Even so, in such cases it is best to play it safe and ask for permission to quote from the work in your book or on your website. What constitutes fair use depends on many circumstances including: the purpose of its usage, whether it is commercial or charitable, whether the quote is used to promote the work such as in a book review, or whether your use of it will harm sales of someone else’s book because you provide too much information from it.

To go direct to the source, here is what the 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites as examples of fair use:

“quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.” (source: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html )

There are always fine lines that exist in using someone else’s work. Even if you are sure it falls under fair use laws, if it’s not in the public domain, it’s best to ask for permission to use the work, and if that seems impractical, it is always best to consult an attorney.

Can I rewrite or reword the work and then reprint it?

You may paraphrase a work by giving a summary of a basic idea, provided you give credit to the source, but you may never rewrite someone else’s work and pass it off as your own, or even as theirs when it is rewritten. And even when you paraphrase an idea, it is still someone else’s idea (intellectual property) so you must give credit where it is due.

Is giving credit enough?

No, it’s not enough to give credit. You need permission to reprint as well, unless as noted above, it is in the public domain. You must always give credit to the owner, whether it be an author, publication, artist, another website, etc. It is usually sufficient to state who is the original creator or copyright holder of the work. For a poem, provide the title and the author’s name. For a passage from a book, you can state, “George Smith states in his book ‘My Brilliant Ideas,’ that:” Depending on your own book or website, you may want to consult a style manual for how best to cite a source. “The Chicago Manual of Style” is the preferred style manual to use for most books, although others exist depending on the kind of book you are writing, such as the “Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association” (APA style) or the “Christian Writers Manual of Style.” If you do receive permission to reproduce copyrighted material, make sure you ask the owner how you are to cite that permission to reprint the work.

Always find out if a work is copyrighted and always give credit where it is due. Then you will avoid issues of fair use violation, copyright infringements, and plagiarism that can later come back to haunt you.

Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, http://www.readerviews.com, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Irene_Watson

Categories: Article, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ARTICLE: Simple Networking Tips for Frightened Authors Irene Watson @bloggingauthors #mwn

By

Expert Author Irene Watson

Few things frustrate me more than authors who give up on their dreams. They’ve always wanted to be an author, and they’ve finally written a book. They’ve done everything right from doing research to having the book professionally edited and having a beautiful cover designed. They’ve even built a website and had the book listed at online bookstores. But then the trouble starts.

All these activities they’ve already done can be done from the comfort of their homes. That’s part of the problem. Up to this point, these authors haven’t had to go out into the public eye or even had to pick up the phone to talk to people.

When you meet these authors and ask them how their book sales are going, they will tell you, “Slow, but I’m not good at marketing.” And they will have a resigned air about them, sadly accepting failure. At times, I have suggested to such authors to join a publisher or writer’s organization so they can learn how to market their books, to which these authors have told me, “I don’t go to conferences. Those are just social gatherings.” Obviously, they feel more comfortable staying home, not meeting anyone, and not selling books. “I don’t want to schmooze,” they will say. Sorry, authors, I hate to tell you this, but here goes: If you don’t schmooze, you lose.

Continue reading

Categories: Article, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Create an Effective Author Platform via Irene Watson @bloggingauthors

Expert Author Irene Watson

Every author needs an author platform to stand upon if he or she is going to get media attention. No, an author platform is not a box to stand on, but it will help an author to rise above his peers and separate the experts and credible authors from the amateurs. An author platform is more like an enhanced resume that provides your credentials and helps publishers and the media take notice that you are a professional, you have experience, you are good at promoting yourself and promoting your book and topic of interest without being self-serving, and overall, you know what you are doing.

The benefits of having an author platform are many. It will help you to get noticed and to appear as an expert to publishers, the media, and readers. Think of the author platform as your credentials. It should be an ever-evolving document or list of your accomplishments, marketing successes, and strategies for continuing to promote yourself and your work.

Following is a list of the qualifiers (proof you are a notch above others) that you should include in your platform. Remember, you should have the vast majority of these in your platform. It’s not sufficient just to have a website, although that’s a starting point:

· Website:Your website should include at least the following pages: Home, About the Author, Buy the Book, Your Blog, and a Media Kit page. Anything additional such as interviews, FAQs, or simply fun pages with games or quizzes, or additional stories or information about the book is a plus.

· Prior Publishing Experiences:Not just a list of books you’ve published, but your success stories-sales numbers, awards won, numbers of printings or editions, etc.

· Speaking Engagements:A good thing to do is keep a journal or log of every event you do, from speaking to the local rotary club to presenting at a national conference on your book’s subject. Publishers and the media want people who are not afraid of public speaking.

· Workshops: Have you facilitated or participated in any workshops relevant to your book or topic?

· Attendance at High Profile Conferences, Events, Workshops:Even if you were not a leader at an event, showing you attended is proof you are serious about staying current on your field of study and changes in the media and publishing worlds.

· Your Online Presence: How do you reach out to readers online? Your author platform includes your blog, newsletter, email lists, social networking, podcasts, videos, and online publications such as articles and book reviews.

· Readings and Book Signings:How frequently do you engage the public face-to-face in promoting your work? Where have you had book signings, readings, or participated in group author events?

· Online Forum:Do you have a way to engage your readers online? It could be a Facebook page for your book, a discussion group on your website, or a listserv group on your topic.

· Coaching/Consulting:Have you been a coach or consultant in your field of expertise on an individual level or for any organizations in need?

· Memberships:What professional organizations do you belong to relative to your topic and to publishing? How involved have you been with these organizations, helping to coordinate an event or serving on the organization’s board?

· Media Press Kit:Your press kit should be available for download from your website for the media’s perusal as well as be in a format you can mail. A press kit should include a press release for your book, a sales sheet, your book cover/image, an about the author page, testimonials or reviews of your book, and a copy of your book or a sample chapter at least, depending on whether it’s on your website or you are mailing a copy.

· Traditional Media Appearances:Any television or radio appearances you’ve made, as well as being interviewed or featured in magazines and newspapers.

· Internet Media Appearances:Have you been a guest on someone else’s blog? Have you been interviewed on Blog Talk Radio or other Internet radio podcast shows?

· Publications:Beyond books, have you published articles or stories in magazines, newspapers, or anthologies?

· Proven Contacts:Who is paying attention to you as an author? How many followers do you have on social media sites? Who is commenting on your blog? What is your website traffic? How many people are on your email list? Who is “Liking” your pages, and how many reviews are you getting posted by readers at online bookstores?

· Target Audience:Who is your target audience? What connections do you have with them, what kind of proven track record do you have, and what plans do you have for future interactions?

It may seem like having an author platform is a lot of work, but if you simply keep track of everything you do and you are actively promoting your book, it will be more like keeping a diary of your experiences. Of course, you have to build the website, go to the conferences, participate in events, but it is all fun and worthwhile if you are passionate about your book, and your passion will set you apart from other authors.

Today, an author platform is less about proving to a publisher that your book deserves publication and you will help market it. While you can still use it to find a publisher, it’s more about getting media attention, whether you are a self-published or traditionally published author. Your platform can be what convinces the media to interview or feature you, which in turn will make readers take notice and buy your books.

Here are some of the benefits to be derived from having a prepared author platform:

· Proves an author’s visibility and credibility as a professional author.

· Provides recognition and expertise that will make the media take notice and give you future publicity.

· Reflects that an author is authentic and not simply self-serving-all your activities have not been solely hard-selling of your books, but also participating in information-sharing and in helping others, such as participants at events and conferences.

· Allows the media and others to make a quick decision about your expertise when they need an expert for a story, a guest for a radio show, or a speaker at a conference.

Think of your author platform as your enhanced resume and your credentials. Constantly working to improve your author platform and to have it ready when it is needed will increase your chances of getting attention, becoming known by the media, and ultimately, selling more books.

Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Irene_Watson

Categories: Article, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ARTICLE: When Author Self-Promotion Goes Overboard VIA @bloggingauthors

Expert Author Irene Watson

Are you an author or an ego-maniac? A true author loves to write. He doesn’t mind locking himself in a room by himself to pump out words for hours. While he may be willing to go out and promote his book, he will have a tendency to complain about how the time spent marketing a book is taking away from his time to write. By comparison, the ego-maniac will whip out a book, think it’s brilliant, spend little time polishing it, and then go out and promote it to the world, expecting everyone to be in awe of him. Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but I have seen ego-maniac authors who are clueless about how to market their books in a professional manner without their egos getting in the way.

Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

ARTICLES: Book Marketing Techniques: Those That Backfire via @bloggingauthors #mwn

Expert Author Irene Watson

Authors need to promote their books, but there’s a right and a wrong way to market, and wanting to sell a book is no excuse for not retaining your manners. No one likes a pushy salesman. Here are some examples of ways I’ve seen authors try to sell their books that have been a total turn-off for me. Authors, make sure you aren’t using these techniques. I’ve listed them in order from what are, in my opinion, least to most annoying.

Lying about Your Book’s Greatness

I’ve seen authors lie about how wonderful their books are in several ways.

    1. Having non-credible book endorsements, both on their websites and books’ back covers. By non-credible, I mean having an endorsement signed by “A.K. in Hawaii” or “A Teacher in San Diego.” If these people don’t want to give their names, they probably don’t support your book enough to want to stand by their comments, and they aren’t going to convince me that your book is worth reading. At the very least, you want full names, and a blurb from Tom Smith isn’t going to mean much to me anyway, unless you’ve written a book about healthcare and he’s Dr. Tom Smith from the Cancer Treatment Center of Miami, or something along those lines. If you can’t get experts on your book’s topic or celebrities or other authors to endorse your book, you’re better off just not including any testimonials so it doesn’t look like false promotion.
  1. False testimonials. Yes, I’ve seen false testimonials and heard authors tell me about them. “A.K. in Hawaii” might be the author’s next door neighbor, a real person who really read the book, but he might just as well be someone the author made up. I know of one author who had a comment page on his website, and about once a week, he would post a comment under a false name raving about his book to try to convince his website visitors how popular and wonderful his book was. The sad thing is that this author’s book truly was terrible, full of grammar mistakes and typos and badly printed, so anyone who read the book knew those comments had to be lies or written by completely crazy people.

Showing Off Your Big Ego

Too many authors try to promote themselves in ridiculous ways by writing on their websites how their book is a “must read” and contains the answer to all the reader’s problems. If you have to tell readers that, they aren’t going to believe you. Go find some legitimate testimonials from reliable people who will say those things about your book. You are not qualified to judge your own book because you have a vested interest in it.

The worst example of authors showing their egos that I’ve seen is when they post book reviews for themselves on Amazon and other online bookstores, and of course, they give their books five stars and brag about how great their books are. When I see an author give himself a five-star review, I realize the author is clueless about what is legitimate as a review; he hasn’t done his homework about the publishing industry, and he is trying to use trickery to sell his book. Not only will I not buy the book, but if there’s an option to vote on the review, I will always vote that it was not helpful.

Being In Your Face and Violating Personal Space

No one likes to have his or her personal space violated. However, not everyone has yet learned that the Internet also contains personal space for people. It’s one thing to have your book for sale on your website, at online bookstores, to promote it at websites for book promotion, or to buy Internet ads. It’s another thing to invade other online users’ personal space.

Here are some book marketing efforts I’ve experienced online that have been a total turn-off for me.

    1. Repetitive and Unwanted Emails. I’ve had this happen more times than I can count. Somehow an author finds my email address and adds it to his email list and I start hearing from him every couple of days about all his book events and why I should buy his book. Even if I want to be on the person’s email list, sending me an email every couple of days is irritating. An email once a month or even once a week isn’t that bad, but I have other things to do than read about your book events on the East Coast when I live in Texas, and I am not going to hop on a plane to attend your book signing, especially if I’ve already read your book and had it signed. And if you’ve added me to your email list without my permission, well, technically, that’s illegal.
    1. Sending Friend Requests at Social Media Sites Solely to Promote Your Book. If people are interested in your book, they will request to be your friend at a social media site. Instead of spam friend requests, take out a Facebook ad that will be targeted toward the people most likely to read your book. It might cost you a little more money, but it will save you time online and provide you with far better results.
    1. Posting Book Covers on Other People’s Walls. My “Wall” is not the place to promote your book. My friends are not posting on my Wall so they can find out about your book. Get off my Wall!
    1. Messaging. No one likes junk mail, so don’t send me a message about how great your book is and how I can buy it. I only want messages from my real friends.
  1. Chatting. This one I especially find irritating. One day I was on Facebook, and an author, whom I didn’t know and who had already sent me three messages trying to tell me how great his book was and to let me know I could get it on Kindle for just $2.99, sent me a chat message about his book. If I don’t reply to your message, I sure don’t want to chat with you. I politely ignored him and logged off Facebook rather than tell him to quit harassing me. I wasn’t going to engage in an argument with him. But let’s be clear-I’m on Facebook to chat with my real friends. Not to read your book.

Sadly, space violations don’t only happen online. I was once at a book festival where an author made a point of going up to people walking by her booth with a set of headphones and quickly placing them over her victims’ ears before they could object so they could listen to her audio book. When I saw what was going on, I quickly turned down the nearest aisle and avoided that side of the room for the rest of the time I was there. I’ve also stopped to look at books at festivals where authors have said things such as “Why don’t you buy this book?” and “What can I do to get you to buy my book?” You can let me be is what you can do. Tell me about the book if you like, give me a chance to read the back cover, and then I’ll buy or move on. I don’t need a pushy sales pitch.

Have you ever met an author who behaves in these ways? I sure have-too many times. Perhaps you are even one of those authors. Hopefully, now you know better. Let’s face it-guerrilla book promotion doesn’t work when you act like you have a gorilla’s manners. Connect with your readers, but do it on their terms, without being pushy or rude. Be friendly, be straightforward, but also be willing to take “No” for an answer. When you are polite, you always make a better impression on your potential readers.

Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Irene_Watson

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

ARTICLES: Google Alerts and Book Marketing via @bloggingauthors

Expert Author Irene Watson

Google Alerts is a simple and free tool that is available to anyone for tracking topics on the Internet. For authors, it is a great advantage because you can have it provide you with results whenever a new mention appears on the Internet of your name, book title(s), or topics relevant to your book that you can capitalize upon for promoting your book. This information can be delivered to you via email in a timely matter-as it happens, daily, or weekly – so you are aware of the latest conversations and topics that may interest you.

Continue reading

Categories: Article, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Article: How to Write a Quality Book via @bloggingauthors #mwn

By

 

Expert Author Irene Watson

Some people might think that anyone can write a book review, but to write one that will help people to make an educated decision about whether a book is worth reading requires honesty, good writing, support for an argument, and an adequate description.

Following are some attributes of quality reviews. If you are someone who writes reviews or wants to be a book critic, these can be used as guidelines to help you write critiques that readers will appreciate. If you are an author, look for these qualities in potential critics so you can determine whether you want the person to read and write about your book.

Honesty: A review isn’t worth anything if it’s not honest. If a reviewer gives every book five stars, chances are he’s either not reading the books or he’s afraid to hurt the author’s feelings. Reviews should be balanced and only praise books that are well-developed in their arguments, have engaging storylines and characters, or add new information to their field. Whether or not the reviewer receives compensation for reviewing the book, the review is of no value if it isn’t honest. A critic should not be “bought,” and one who writes up a glowing and dishonest review is doing no one a service because his readers will no longer value his opinion and be angry that they spent time and money reading a sub-par book. Similarly, the reviewer who has an ax to grind and gives a book a low rating because he simply doesn’t like the author or the general topic would do better to review other books or no books at all. Bad reviews have their place; they can be a true learning experience for the author, but they can also be kindly worded.

Brief and Clear Summaries: A good book review is not a book report. It should not include a complete plot summary or a chapter-by-chapter description of the book’s contents. It may, however, describe enough of the plot to make people want to read further, such as stopping the summary at a cliffhanger moment, or it might list the main topics without going into detail. Under no circumstances should a review give away a novel’s ending, or list the concluding arguments of a non-fiction work. In short, a review should never provide so much information that the reader feels no need to read the book because he completely knows what it contains; a review should be like a movie trailer-a teaser to get people to read the book, while giving enough commentary to let the reader decide whether the subject is really for him.

Accuracy: Book reviews must be accurate, so if looking for a book critic, checking the accuracy of the person’s past reviews is the best way to determine whether the person truly reads the books he reviews. By accuracy, I mean using the correct names of the characters and spelling them properly, accurately summarizing the plot, and also the importance of proper grammar and punctuation so the reviewer appears intelligent and competent, and therefore, qualified to write the review.

Good Writing: A reviewer is a writer him- or herself. The person should have a strong command of the English language and be able to communicate well. Writing choppy sentences and having poor grammar will only make the reviewer look bad, and that will result in people not understanding the book’s value or valuing the critic’s opinion. A good reviewer will also have knowledge of what constitutes good writing and be able to judge the difference between good and bad. He or she should be widely read and be familiar especially with the subject area to be reviewed, or be willing to admit when a subject is out of his range of expertise; if the latter, he can still judge the material based upon how well he was able to follow the argument. If a reviewer is highly knowledgeable about the Middle Ages, she may be the best person to review a book on the building of Gothic cathedrals, but she may not be the best person to review a book debating evolution-that said, she can admit she is no expert on the subject, but still point out whether the book informed her and she was able to follow it. It never hurts for the reviewer to add whom he thinks would be the perfect audience or age group for the book, for example, “I think anyone interested in quantum physics would enjoy this book” or “This book is probably best suited for a young adult audience, but I think many adults will be pleasantly surprised as well by how entertaining it is.”

Supporting Statements: A good review will provide a basic argument-this book is good or bad, or has merit but with a few faults-and then support that statement with examples, such as: “Sometimes the plot becomes unbelievable; for example when the princess suddenly reveals that she has the ability to turn invisible and doesn’t explain how.” Quoting a passage from the book will help to support the statements. Quotes can be helpful to readers so they get a sense of the author’s style and the work’s reading level to determine whether they will enjoy it. Quotes can be used to provide support for a statement that the book is humorous, well-argued, or a number of other positive or negative attributes it might have. The important thing to remember is that a review is an argument so its writer has to provide support for his argument if he is going to convince people to read, or not to read, a book.

Visibility: Finally, a good review is a visible one-it will be seen by lots of readers. Before you spend money on a review or even give away free review copies of your books, make sure the review will be posted in places where readers go to find out about books. Those places might include the reviewer’s website or blog, online bookstores where the review will be read by customers, as well as print publications like newspapers or magazines, or bookseller brochures. A review is not worth having if no one is going to see it. Also, as an author, be sure to ask for permission to quote from the review in part and in full so you can post it on your website or at least link to it, and so you can quote from it on the back of your back cover and include it in your marketing pieces.

A quality review will help an author to sell books and it will make a reviewer an authority whom readers will come to respect and follow. Few things are of more benefit to an author than a positive and well-written book review.

Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Irene_Watson

Categories: Article, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,908 other followers