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January, 2008

Mark Levine The Fine Print

Author's Bill Of Rights
What you should expect from a self-publishing company
By  Mark Levine

Beware the pitfalls in agreements. Authors do have rights. Be sure to protect yours.
The following Bill of Rights has been gratuitously added into our Tool Kit for all to use. IN, and Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print and CEO of Click Industries, hope it will be of some use in your future creative endeavours.
The Bill of Rights was developed by Mark, who after spending nine years as a corporate, entertainment and intellectual property attorney, with the intent that it will assist writers in avoiding the legal pitfalls that can be placed into a publisher's agreement, thereby stripping writers of their rights.
Print it, photo copy it and use it when looking over contracts. The following should and is not intended to replace the hiring of proper legal council. Before signing any contract or agreement you should have the paperwork reviewed by a noted legal authority.


All authors have the right to expect certain things from a self-publishing company. Only choose a publisher that:
1. Allows an you to see a copy of their publishing contract upon demand (if a contract is not posted on the publisher’s website).
2. Takes no rights in your book whatsoever, including the right to negotiate rights on your behalf with any third party (e.g. movie rights, book club rights, etc.)
3. Explains exactly how the royalty percentage is calculated and doesn’t back out vague expenses such as "administrative" and "processing" fees. 
4. Does not double-dip when it comes to royalties. Double dipping is when the publisher pads the actual cost of printing the book (which is subtracted out of the gross sale prices before calculating royalties) and still takes a portion of the royalty. 
(Note: You will need to purchase The Fine Print of Self Publishing to learn the actual book production costs self-publishing companies pay.)
5. Does not give itself a trade discount for sales it makes through its own online store.
6. Allows you to terminate your contract at any time and without penalty by giving no more than 60 days written notice.
7. Upon termination of the contract, gives you all digital files that contain your formatted book and the cover art in a format that will allow you to print copies of the book without incurring additional formatting fees.
8. Upon termination of the contract, immediately ceases selling your work, except for any remaining copies of your book still in the publisher’s possession.
If a publisher refuses to comply with any of these enumerated rights, find another publisher.

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Read IN's interview with Mark Levine in ON THE COVER.

Read Mark Levine's excerpt from The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.

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Mark Levine, CEO, co-founded Click Industries, Ltd. in 2000 after spending nine years as a corporate, entertainment, and intellectual property attorney. The company provides small-business entrepreneurs and artists with affordable help in the business start-up process and the protection of business assets and intellectual property. He is the author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, two novels and several scholarly works.

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

IN This Issue
Neubauer's Nuggets
Author/Agent Contract
Author's Bill Of Rights
Character Questionnaire
Chase Scene Checklist
IN Editing Tricks
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Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049
All Rights Reserved. Copying in any way strictly forbidden.
Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."