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Jim Cox Report: June 2017

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

One aspect of publishing that every author (and every publisher) should know about is the value and process of copyrighting their work. This is from Wikipedia:

Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. This is usually only for a limited time. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.

Copyright is a form of intellectual property, applicable to certain forms of creative work. Some, but not all jurisdictions require "fixing" copyrighted works in a tangible form. It is often shared among multiple authors, each of whom holds a set of rights to use or license the work, and who are commonly referred to as rights holders. These rights frequently include reproduction, control over derivative works, distribution, public performance, and "moral rights" such as attribution.

Copyrights are considered territorial rights, which means that they do not extend beyond the territory of a specific jurisdiction. While many aspects of national copyright laws have been standardized through international copyright agreements, copyright laws vary by country.

Typically, the duration of a copyright spans the author's life plus 50 to 100 years (that is, copyright typically expires 50 to 100 years after the author dies, depending on the jurisdiction)

Here are three excellent "how to" instruction manuals on copyrighting:

Copyright Plain and Simple
Cheryl Besenjak
Career Press
12 Parish Drive, Wayne, NJ 07470
9781564142733, $11.99 PB ($5.99, $12.09 Kindle

The fundamental elements of copyright protection are explained in a simple, effective volume important to any writer. The basics of copyright law is explained through numerous clear examples and discussions of the foundations of protection; from applications to music and electronics to fair use policies.

The Copyright Guide
Lee Wilson
Allworth Press
10 East 23rd Street, Suite 400, New York, NY 10010
9781880559437, $18.95 PB, ($5.49

A copyright is a set of rights granted by the federal government to the creators of literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audio-visual works and sound recordings. Copyright law rewards creators by grating them the exclusive right to exploit and control their creations. Creators reap the profits from their works for the duration of copyright protection by limiting access to creative works to those who pay for the privilege of using them. The Copyright Guide: A Friendly Handbook for Protecting and Profiting from Copyrights is written for everyone who creates, acquires, or exploits copyrights. The Copyright Guide is an easy-to-understand handbook that provides a complete and up-to-date explanation of the law for anyone who wants to understand and benefit from copyrights. The Copyright Guide offers a definitive and informative source of answers to the most commonly asked questions by business and individuals, including information about what can and cannot be protected, the duration and scope of protection, notice and registration, how to avoid and evaluate infringement, obtaining permissions, how copyrights are used and exploited in the marketplace, and current copyright issues on the World Wide Web. An extensive appendix contains sample forms and agreements with detailed instructions of how they are used, and a glossary clearly explains the most frequently used terms in copyright law. The Copyright Guide is an invaluable resource for protecting revenues and learning how to avoid costly mistakes.

The Copyright Handbook
Stephen Fishman
Nolo Press
950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781413305333, $39.99 PB, ($10.76, $7.99 Kindle

Simply stated, "The Copyright Handbook: What Every Writer Needs To Know" by copyright attorney Stephen Fishman is the definitive reference on the subject of copyright law. This thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction manual shows aspiring authors how to register their work; how to maximize copyright protection for their work; how to use a copyright notice; how to transfer ownership of a copyright; how to avoid copyright infringements and effectively deal with those who infringe on their copyrighted material; the legal definition of the 'fair use' rule; how to obtain permission to use copyrighted work; how to profit from a copyright. All this and a great deal more (such as copyrighting Internet works such as blogs) are covered in this newly updated and expanded ninth edition of "The Copyright Handbook" which is accompanied by a CD-ROM providing more than 30 legal and copyright forms. "The Copyright Handbook" is very strongly recommended as essential reading and an invaluable reference to authors seeking a professional career and publishers wishing to avoid becoming entangled in copyright issues.

Now on to some more current reviews of new titles that I recommend for authors and/or publishers:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write
Helen Sword
Harvard University Press
79 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
9780674737709, $24.95, HC, 280pp,

Synopsis: "Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write" by Helen Sword (Professor and Director of the Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education at the University of Auckland) is an essential new guide for writers aspiring to become more productive and take greater pleasure in their craft.

For this outstanding instructional, Professor Sword interviewed one hundred academics worldwide about their writing background and practices. Relatively few were trained as writers, she found, and yet all have developed strategies to thrive in their publish-or-perish environment.

Professor Sword identifies four cornerstones that anchor any successful writing practice: Behavioral habits of discipline and persistence; Artisanal habits of craftsmanship and care; Social habits of collegiality and collaboration; and Emotional habits of positivity and pleasure. Building on this “BASE,” she illuminates the emotional complexity of the writing process and exposes the lack of writing support typically available to early-career academics.

Professor Sword also lays to rest the myth that academics must produce safe, conventional prose or risk professional failure.

The successful writers profiled in the pages of "Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write" tell stories of intellectual passions indulged, disciplinary conventions subverted, and risk-taking rewarded. Grounded in empirical research and focused on sustainable change, "Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write" offers a customizable blueprint for refreshing personal habits and creating a collegial environment where all writers can flourish.

Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write" is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. A 'must read' for any aspiring writer seeking to be published for an academic readership, "Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write" is an unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in writing for the academic community that "Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write" is also available in a Kindle format ($19.00).

Finally -- Here is "The Midwest Book Review Postage Stamp Hall Of Fame & Appreciation" roster of well-wishers and supporters. These are the generous folk who decided to say 'thank you' and 'support the cause' that is the Midwest Book Review by donating postage stamps this past month:

G. D. Dess
Joanne Meredith
Malcolm Wicks -- "Plaidosoar"
John Houde -- "The Criminalist"
Sandra Woffington -- "Evil Speaks"
Carla D. Bass -- "Write to Influence!"
Donald W. Kruse -- "Chicken Britches!"
Birke Duncans -- "Tricky Trivia Party Games"
Charles Creath McCormack -- "Hatching Charlie"
Holly Trechter -- "Esme Dooley & The Kirkkomaki Circus"
GLM Publishing LLC
Lunazul Publishing, Inc.
CapCat Music Publishing
Publishers Daily Reviews
S. Woffington Literary Services
Diane Kirman -- Code 7 Books
Jerome L. Tiller -- ArtWrite Productions
Andrew Burke -- White Crane Productions
Cori L. Corvino -- British American Publishing
Ellie Pelto -- Concierge Marketing
Barbara C. Wall -- The Barrett Company
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!

In lieu of (or in addition to!) postage stamp donations, we also accept PayPal gifts of support to our postage stamp fund for what we try to accomplish in behalf of the small press community. Simply log onto your PayPal account and direct your kindness (in any amount and at your discretion) to the Midwest Book Review at:

SupportMBR [at]

(The @ is replaced by "[at]" in the above email address, in an attempt to avoid email-harvesting spambots.)

If you have postage stamps to donate, or if you have a book you'd like considered for review, then send those postage stamps (always appreciated, never required), or a published copy of that book (no galleys, uncorrected proofs, or Advance Reading Copies), accompanied by a cover letter and some form of publicity release to my attention at the address below.

All of the previous issues of the "Jim Cox Report" are archived on the Midwest Book Review website at If you'd like to receive the "Jim Cox Report" directly (and for free), just send me an email asking to be signed up for it.

So until next time -- goodbye, good luck, and good reading!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI, 53575

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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