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EelKat Wendy Christine Allen
Author, Artist, & Art Car Designer
 

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Copyright Question:
What are my rights as an author?

/ /
By EelKat Wendy C Allen

(What to do when someone wants to use your work in their book.)

"Hi

I received an email from someone asking my permission if he could use my articles (website content) to help spread the great word about my niche (coconut oil). He plans to use my articles in a hard copy book.

What are my rights as an author? Is it okay to give him permission to use several of my pages as long as he links back to my site? Or is this a no-no? What's the best way to go about this? He seems to really want to help spread the word.

Hope to hear from you soon,
-...name removed..."

As a general rule I'd say no. There are times when it is alright to say yes, but they are rare. From what you say, this guy does not appear to be going through any official channels to contact you, is that correct? By official channels I mean, he is the author of the book and asking to use your article in his book, correct?

The official way to send a request like this is an Acquisitions Editor of a Publishing House would write you a snail mail letter on official letter head. The letter would detail the book project, explain it's goals and marketing details. They would explain that the author had made a special request to include your article in the book.

There would be lots of "legal mumbu jumbo talk" written by publishing lawyers, to tell you your rights, what rights they would be buying (print, ebook, international, etc) and for how long (1 year, 7 years, life-time) they retained those rights before returning them to you (meaning you would have to take your article down off of your website, because you would no longer be the copyright holder even though you are the author, because by giving rights to the book publisher you effectively sold/rented your copyright holding to them).

Do keep in mind (and this is VERY important) that no one can publish your article ANYWHERE without you signing a copyright agreement contract, which grants them copyright permission. When someone asks to put your article in their book, what they are really asking is for you to give up your rights as an author, your copyrights, AND....

Very, very, very IMPORTANT: If you hand over something like "7 year print rights" they can print (and reprint) your article for 7 years without farther asking your permission AND if you put your article in print, they can sue you (and take everything you own) for copyright infringement, even though you are the original author, because when you gave them those "7 year rights" you handed the copyright ownership to them and you no longer have any right to use your own work.

This is very dangerous ground to walk on, because often times scam artists are well versed in these laws, yet authors are often clueless about these laws, and this is how scam artists swoop in and end up taking your life savings, your car, your house, and you could end up being the one in prison for copyright infringement, even though you are the author of the article.

This IS NOT a simple minor request this guy is asking for here. He is asking you to hand over your copyrights to him, and he is not using official channels (lawyers) to ask for your copyrights. nor is he offering you any advance or royalties (which is basically rental fees for use of your copyright.) NEVER give up your rights as an author!

The letter would also detail what kind of advance you would be receiving (about $500 is standard for using an article in a book; $2,000 to $7,000 is standard if you had written the entire book), along with what your royalty percentage is (usually .1% to 2% for minor contributors such as an article). They would also tell you the total amount of books they expect to sell in the next 3 years (most houses plan on 100,000 copies per year x .1% - 2% means you can expect to be paid about $100 to $2,000 a year for your contribution to the book.)

It is your right as the author of your article to be paid royalties whenever someone publishes your article ANYWHERE online or offline, but you can lose that right if you don't read all the fine print to the copyright law, contracts, and agreements before saying "yes" to someone's request to republish your work. Some publishing houses like Harlequin and Avon have eletronic contracts now, but by law you can request a paper contract mailed to you for signing and they will mail one out. It is your right as an author to request a hard copy to sign in person and no legitimate publisher is going to refuse to send one out.

Never trust a publisher that handles contracts and agreements via email and doesn't have the option to mail you a hard copy to sign in real ink. There has to be something in writing to make it legal, however, agreeing to an email is legally binding enough to cause you a $30,000 headache and a lot of months in the courthouse should you try to back out of the deal. Never sign anything or agree to anything until you have had a copyright lawyer and a publishing lawyer read the documents and go over what every line means with you.

Getting your article into another author's book can be a really good deal, more often than not though it will cause you far more harm than good. It's tricky business getting into these sorts of multi-authors in one book agreements. If not done with a lawyer over your shoulder every step of the way, you cold easily sign away and give up your rights as an author without even knowing that's what you had done!

Do know that it is INCREDIBLY RARE for a publishing house to contact you. So rare that most times you are contacted by a publishing house, you should assume it a scam and have your lawyer reply to the contact for you.

Included with the letter would be a bunch of legal documents, including a contract for you to sign (with your lawyer) and notarize, before sending it back to them.

As you did not mention receiving any of this, I am assuming you are dealing with a self-publisher? This is shaky ground. It could be okay or it could be a scam; most likely it's just someone who really has no clue what they are doing, and if they are not up on the legal issues enough to know how to contact you properly, they likely are also not up on the marketing issue enough to sell more than 100 copies of the book a year.

I often work with self-publishers and it can be a good thing if they actually know what they are doing and are running their self-publishing business professionally. Unfortunately, few fall into this category. There are only 2 times when I would recommend you work with a self-publisher on a deal like this:

1) You know them personally - they are a relative, friend from high school, co-worker, etc. Someone you know and trust and see face to face every day.

From what you say it sounds like this guy is a complete stranger to you. When it comes to publishing NEVER work with a stranger who's credibility you are uncertain of. EVER! A lot of authors get scammed this way. I've heard of authors losing $20,000, $200,000, and one who lost their home because of getting into deals like this that turned out to be really shady. In each case it started out simple, "Hey, I want to use your article in my book" but than the publisher would start asking for money "Hey I need $5,000 to run an ad for the book", etc. This is a VERY common scam.

2) You have heard of the author: you've read their books, you've seen them around on social networks, you know their product, you know they are running stable legitimate publishing business. (And they would have contacted you using official documents as described above.)

From what you say, this does not sound like what is happening.

So, yes, in your situation, I believe the best answer is NO, do not agree to his offer. It's too risky. You have too much to lose and there is nothing you will really gain.

Tell him, that after he publishes his book, to send you a free copy and you will read it and write a review for it on your site, in exchange for his putting a link /mention of your website in his book. This is a far better way for the two of your to "boost readership" to each other.




*source: I'm the editor-in-chief of a publishing house

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If it ain't on this list, it's probably fake.

~EK 


Throughout 2013 - 2015 a slew of FAKE "EelKat" accounts surfaced, both on social networks and on forums, most were created by a woman calling herself Kendra Silvermander, or her backhoe driving cousin who drove a backhoe over my house, the same woman and her family who cut the heads off my cats, are the same people who hacked my online accounts, created a slew of fake accounts and pretended to be me, after they beat me up on November 14, 2013, leaving me paralyzed for 5 months, relearning to walk for 18 months, and clueless to their impersonation of my online due to my life threatening crippled state that had me offline from November 2013 to March 2016.

Who they are and why they are doing this remains unknown. If you know the identity of these people, please contact the FBI in charge of the investigation into their murder attempts on my life:

Agent Andy Drewer

of the Portland FBI

@ 207-774-9322 

NOTE: I was very active on forums from 1997 to 2007 and have RARELY used a forum since then. Other then the Warriors Forum and Absolute Write I have not posted on ANY forums AT ALL since 2012.

Note: My old inactive forum accounts were hacked and "resurrected" in 2013/2014/2015 by a psychotic NaNoWriMo ML who is upset over my having won a total of 27 writing contests/challenges and published 130+ novels since 2004 and and apparently (according to her emails) she has yet to win or publish anything.

If you see "me" posting on a forum at any point after 2012, know that it is likely this mysterious, and still yet unidentified "Kendra Silvermander".

More information about Kendra Silvermander and what she did can be found here.

Let's think about something here...

I'm just a harmless old lady who likes to dress like and Elf and paint everything pink and write stories about Elves having sex with Unicorns. For THAT, the residents of Old Orchard Beach, call me crazy, build a bomb, blow up my house, stand in my drive way and shoot at me, kidnap my cats, cut my cats' heads off, nail my cats' heads to my door, beat my 28 year old Shetland pony's head in, drive a back hoe over my house 3 times, filled my motorhome with feces 3 feet deep, I was paralyzed for 5 months because they trespassed up in here and beat me up, 3 years later I finally recover and start walking again and they beat me up again this time with a shopping cart rupturing 3 discs in my spine while screaming "kill or be killed remember Saco Shaw's!" and they cut my car in half. I'm sorry, WHO exactly is the crazy person here? 

Yes, I wear pink ball gowns every day.

Yes I wear fake pointy ears and long white Rapunzel wigs.

Yes, I paint my cars, my motorhome, and my mailbox pink.

Yes, I write about Elves having sex with Unicorns.

So the fucking hell what?

I haven't set foot off my land in 40 years. The only time I have contact with people is when THEY trespass on my yard and invade my privacy. And you know what? I've always welcomed them with happy smiles and open arms, made them meals and served them tea, and spent the day happily chatting with any one and every one who wanted to visit me. I love it when you people stop by to visit me as it's the only time I have any one to talk to other then my cats... oh wait... I don't have ANYONE to talk to any more, now that sociopath freaks murdered them and nailed their heads to my door!

You call me crazy because I wear pink dresses, yet THESE THREE PEOPLE are the ones who built a bomb and blew up my house!

You call me crazy because I wear pink dresses, yet THESE THREE PEOPLE are the violent trespassers who stands in my drive way and shoot at me.

You call me crazy because I wear pink dresses, yet THESE THREE PEOPLE are the ones who kidnap my cats, cut my cats' heads off, nail my cats' heads to my door, beat my 28 year old Shetland pony's head in, drive a back hoe over my house 3 times, filled my motorhome with feces 3 feet deep, and cut my car in half.

I mean REALLY stand back and look around.

All I'm doing is wearing strange cloths. I'm not the violent animal abusing, bomb building, psychopath beating up elderly women... THEY are.

There's a hell of a big difference between a half blind elderly woman dressing up as comic book characters and not bothering one damned person, and violent psychopathic criminal creeps beating her up, bombing her house, driving a back hoe over 3 more of her houses, cutting her car in half, filling her motorhome with feces, murdering her horse, and slaughtering her cats!

Old Orchard Beach has a crazy person in it all right, but isn't me... and the residents of this town need to get off their asses and tell the FBI who this white haired man and his blond wife and red haired sister-in-law are BEFORE THEY KILL ME! The red haired woman calls herself Kendra Silvermander.

I don't know who this man and his two women are. They are strangers to me. I don't know their names. And I don't know why they are doing this. Some body in this town must know who these people are ... PLEASE... the FBI is trying to put a stop to these insane hate crimes... PLEASE if you know who these psychopathic monsters are, PLEASE tell Agent Andy Drewer before they kill me. They cut my car in half in 2010. They cut my cats in half in 2015. How long do you think it'll be before they cut ME in half too? PLEASE HELP ME!

➽ ➽ ➽ If you have any information regarding the identity of the stalker/attacker/driver of the 4-door white pick-up truck please contact Officer Tim DeLuca of the Old Orchard Beach Police Department @ 207-934-4911 and/or

Agent Andy Drewer

of the Portland FBI

@ 207-774-9322 

 ◀️ ◀️ ◀️ ☎️

Please help the police and FBI put this brutal, violent, psychotically deranged stalker family in prison.

Have Information?
Call FBI Agent Andy Drewer @ (207) 774-9322 





Need Directions?

Rather then ask the crazy gun-toting neighbours, and risk get shot by the psychotically deranged, white power gay haters that live up and down my street, patrolling obsessively by my driveway every 15 minutes in a 4 door white pick-up truck, just get directions from Google Maps. Here, you can find 146 Portland Avenue, Old Orchard Beach, ME right here:


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