Friday, September 24, 2010

How do I protect my ideas? Patterns? Books?

Q. Good to run into you the other week. I wanted to talk to you about published work. Right now it's just some patterns and grading, and I was wondering if you had anything of that natured published before. It's for a sewing book. Just wanted to know things to look for in a contract and things to watch out for.

A. Put a copyright symbol and month/date on all your patterns and instruction books. As for books, expect a shelf life of 18 months and 3 cents on every dollar they earn. Find out how they are going to track sales and how you are going to see those reports. Will they give you an advance? How does that affect your pay and royalties?

Then get these books: Publish your patterns! : how to write, print, and market your designs / Nancy Restuccia. Writing nonfiction : turning thoughts into books / Dan Poynter. Both are available at Multnomah County Library.

BTW -- I'm having a lawyer talk about Protect your ideas: Basics of Intellectual Property on Saturday, Oct 2, 2-5 pm ($48). This is Nancy's specialty and she would be able to answer all your questions that I, as a non-attorney, cannot.

Good luck!

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