This blog article is not about writing a book, it is about the process of self-publishing an e-book. Entitled “Katja’s Medallion,” this historical novel has been through three rounds
of editing and several casual reviews. To visualize the book in final form, fifteen were printed and bound, but not published.
The next step is to obtain clearances, permission to quote and check character similarity to real persons. In a traditional print version, it may take years for a person, fact or figure to become an issue. With e-books, it is possible that a Google search will reveal the same text in seconds!
So, what does this mean?
Check facts, sources, and all proper names. Some of the names in the book, even though quite common, may be too close to real persons, living or dead. And that means someone at some time, after the book is published, may have objections about how the person was characterized.
A few lines of song lyrics written by the Canadian folksinger Stan Rogers, were used to introduce a chapter.
Of course, permission must be granted by the composer, author or publisher to use those words. In this case, the songwriter was deceased, so permission was sought from the licensing company, who then referred us to the songwriter’s widow. She retained the rights to the lyrics and provided written permission to use them, and even provided the proper credit wording. Obtaining the rights to music can be costly and complicated. Even a few lines from a popular song can cost thousands of dollars to use.
Victory! A few months after our request, the songwriter’s widow granted permission to use a few lyrics in the book.
Next step: Formatting for e-book.