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Three Common Misunderstandings About Rights & Licensing

POSTED BY prbythebook ON March 15, 2016

Three Common Misunderstandings About Rights & Licensing Tom Chalmers

The fact remains that many self-published authors are unaware of the power and potential contained within the rights they hold to their work. And, importantly, how improving this awareness could result in the gaining of additional revenue and a wider audience.

Of course profitability might not necessarily be the prime motivation for all writers but whatever the driving force, surely there’s no harm in trying to make being a self-published or indie author into a profitable business? Is there?

So to try and help more authors bridge this gap Tom Chalmers, Managing Director at global rights and licensing marketplace IPR License, outlines three of the most commonly held author misconceptions around this important sector of the publishing industry.

1) I have self-published my book, I don’t have any more rights to sell.

It may sound dull, but you need to understand your intellectual property (IP). A paperback book is one product out of the vast universe of IP that you own – hardback another, ebook another, audiobook yet another. And that is even before thinking about translations, new formats, media rights, permissions to quote from your work etc.

You can happily keep on selling the book you have published while still having an ocean of IP left to license and monetize.

2) I need the right contacts to sell book rights.

Contacts help but they are not a necessity. When I began my first publishing company, I had no contacts at all. I made a list, contacted as many publishers as possible and licensed the second novel which was then published into seven editions and four languages. That was a result of research and persistence, nothing more.

There are now many different routes to take and resources to utilize in order to open up communications lines with publishers all over the world. Nowadays self-published and indie authors need to think of themselves as a small business with rights and licensing as their main USP’s and sales tools.

Thankfully, there are a range of available resources and support services to help authors in the marketing and showcasing of their works to an international audience, one being the IPR License marketplace. Alternatively you can work with an established rights agent.

3) I need to travel the world and go to book fairs to sell the rights to my work.

Of course authors can pay for physical space to exhibit at the key book fairs, but many save this expense by ensuring that their work is visible online at all times. Editors don’t just want to see the book; they want to see reviews and descriptions, categories and also the author’s social media presence and activity.

Technology can also help in other ways. Twitter, for example, will often provide live updates on events. You can easily narrow down relevant news and use this medium to try and engage with people in and around the book world that are a) interesting and informative and b) potentially good future contacts. The vast majority of rights deals are now done on a day to day basis over email/telephone and, with the advent of new internet technologies, more rights deals are happening across various platforms 24/7.

From our experience these are the three largest misconceptions that we find when speaking with a variety of authors.

The message is clear: the value you hold is not only from that physical book in front of you – it’s much wider than that. As an author, start focussing on what rights you hold and what you can do with them, follow these steps and you could have global business at your fingertips.

IPR License is the rights licensing marketplace on which publishers and authors can sell their rights to partners across the world simply, quickly and cost-effectively. 

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