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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ten years ago, I edited some of my mom's stories about her childhood.  My brother and I paid to have 500 printed by a small print shop here in Austin as a surprise for our mom on her 90th birthday.  They were well received by the people who got copies (we gave some to close friends and relatives and sold others).  Now, I plan to publish through Amazon both for the Kindle and as POD version.  I've gotten a style guide from Smashwords and am making the few changes that will make it fit within their guidelines.

I do have a few questions about some things that aren't covered in that guide.

First question:  The original book had the copyright in my mom's name.  She died two years ago so I don't think a new version would have her name as the copyright holder but I'm not sure how it should be.  I have seen some books where there are two copyright listings -- one with the original date and the author, the other with a more recent date and the current copyright holder's name.  But I've seen others that didn't show the older copyright.  Does anyone know the appropriate way to do that when publishing a deceased author's work?

Second question:  The original book had an ecru colored cover with a simple line drawing in black.  I like that cover but I'm wondering about attracting attention when people are browsing books on Amazon.  Should I get a new cover that has a more colorful image?

Thrid question:  Any recommendations about Smashwords -- publish through them or not?

I would appreciate any help.

Thanks, Gayle

 

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First question:  Your mother still holds the copyright so it should be there in her name.

Second question:  I would look for a vintage photo, perhaps, or something sepia-coloured suggesting age and childhood stories.

Third question:  Yes, as well as uploading at Amazon, I would publish through SW if only to get the book distributed to Sony, Apple, etc. 

Hope that helped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I called the copyright office this morning and got the info from the horses mouth. 

Copyrights are just like any other personal property and they transfer upon the death of the current copyright holder.  The issue then becomes: who do they transfer to.  In this case, my mother did not address the subject in her will so I am going to have to get my siblings to sign documents to give up any rights they might have through inheritance and sign them over to me.  I don't think there will be a problem because they all know that without my many hours of work with her on them, they wouldn't even exist.

This does bring up a point for any and all of you who write books, articles, stories, etc.  Be sure to address the ownership of copyrights in your will.  You do have a will, don't you?

Gayle
 
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