Copyright and ISBN – simplified

Copyright and ISBN (International Standard Book Number)*

In the simplest terms, copyright means ‘the right to copy’. In general it means the sole right to produce or reproduce work, or a substantial part of it. If it is unpublished, copyright includes the right to publish the work or any substantial part of it. By defining it by ‘substantial’ it is electing to leave out reproduction of minor parts of a work, as quotes are often used in reviews or discussions.

What is covered by copyright law? A work must be original and can include literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works or compilations. Copyright is granted the moment the work, whether professional or amateur, is created. There is no distinction between production of work for profit or hobby. Literary work includes anything that is written, such as speeches, essays and books and may be in any form. Dramatic works include the characters, scenes, relationship between characters, dialogue and dramatic expression. That’s interesting because I didn’t realize the characters we create as novelists would also be protected.

How do you obtain copyright in Canada? All powers to legislate copyright law are in the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada, by virtue of the Constitution Act 1867. Yet, copyright exists at the moment of creation of a work in Canada.

Some have promoted the ‘kitchen sink’ method of copyright. This was obtained by mailing a copy of the written work to yourself and once received, leaving it sealed in the envelope. You now had a copy of the work with a date and time provided by the post mark, proving your possession prior to any possible publication by someone else. My mother preferred that method, and had me mail her poems to her before she put them out to the public to give herself some assurance she could prove ownership.

The Canadian government offers a formal way to obtain copyright but it is not free. Currently, if the work and fee are submitted online, the cost is $50. If it is done other than online, such as by mail, the cost is $65 per work. Go to the official website to learn more – https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr02281.html

How long does copyright last? Generally in Canada it lasts for the life of the author, plus 50 years. Therefore protection expires on December 31 of the 50th year after the author of the work dies. However, if the original author assigns ownership to another, either personal or corporate, it only lasts for 25 years after the author’s death.

The ISBN is different. It is a system of numerical identification, again provided by the federal government, for books, pamphlets, educational kits, microforms, CD-ROMs and other digital and electronic publications. Assigning a unique number to each published title provides that title with its own, unduplicated, internationally recognized identifier. Each different format of an electronic publication (e.g., Kindle, Kobo, EPUB, MOBI, PDF) that is published and made separately available shall be given a separate ISBN.

I didn’t know this. I was aware the print book had one ISBN and the ebook had a separate one, but this says each type of ebook requires its own number.

How is the ISBN used? Publishers, booksellers, libraries and others in the book industry use ISBNs to identify publications and determine the publishing country. An ISBN is required for the sale and distribution of a publication. Originally the numbers in Canada were 10 digits in length, but changed to a 13-digit number as of January 1, 2007. To learn more or apply for ISBN numbers, go to the government website – http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services/isbn-canada/Pages/create-account-isbn-canada.aspx

Luckily, these numbers are free in Canada. The Library and Archives Canada assigns 10 numbers upon application. When they have been used, another 10 are assigned for your exclusive use.

*Information courtesy of Wikipedia and Library and Archives Canada

A Merry Christmas and blessings for the New Year

snow2 snow3

Winter has arrived, even here on the west coast. Snow came in a flurry of about 5 inches, followed a few days later of another 3 or 4 inches. Now, I know that in most places, that isn’t a lot! But here on the Wet Coast, it’s darned near a blizzard.

The Merry Christmas season has arrived right on the heels of that snow, a very exciting time of year. I love Christmas, the joy and blessings of the season. I want to wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday and many good wishes for the new year, 2017. And may you get lots of books in your stocking!

The Last War – a new map

Map

I’ve just received a new map for my Last War series of fantasy fiction. My daughter drew it for me and between us we located the details of where Khandarken lies along the Catastrophic Ocean. Adar Silva is to the south, also along the ocean and a strong ally for Khandarken. To the north is Legitamia, a country ruled by its own dictator, Barrington the Benevolent. Relations are frosty, especially after the conference in the capital, Gilsigg, resulted in the death of Khandarken’s Leader in Book Three. This is on top of the invasion across the border in Book Two.

To the west is Jiran, a loose affiliation of tribal areas dominated by the Penrhy and Shafoneur families. No one is on great terms with Jiran.

Truth and Treachery, The Last War: Book Three is now out in print, with ebook soon to follow. Come with me on this exciting ride into a sci fi world where nothing is as it seems!

Visit Amazon to have a look –  http://tinyurl.com/hw748dz

What do readers want?

A very interesting bit on what kindle owners read and where they get their information for buying new books.

So, who do they listen to for recommendations? 53% said they heard about a book from friends or family. We are still talking about word of mouth here. Next came websites and blogs at 24%. Bestseller lists was quite low on the roster at 11%.

In terms of social media, facebook is by far the most influential in getting word out on new books, with twitter and instagram near the bottom. It’s interesting because I know a lot of authors spend a great deal of time on some of these sites, so it’s nice to get some information on what works best.

Although there is a huge push on ‘series’ books right now, the information shows that 70% of readers enjoy series and stand alone books equally.

Best of all, kindle owners purchase 8.9 books a month. That’s a lot of reading material. I’m sure it doesn’t all get read, but most of it probably does, and it’s an exciting number for authors to contemplate.

Have a look at the Anatomy of a Kindle User –

http://www.writtenwordmedia.com/2015/09/09/anatomy-kindle-owner/

Favourite Books

Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Burns. This book is so charming, we still quote from it although I read it years ago. Grampa owns a hardware store in town and his son works for him. Gramma won’t let him keep moonshine in the house, so every morning Grampa goes to his son’s house, into the closet and takes a whopping big drink of the gutrot he keeps there. Then he stamps his foot to allow it to go down. His 14 year old grandson’s favourite expression is, ‘Boy howdy, Grampa.’ It is a very sweet story.

To All Appearances a Lady, by Marilyn Bowering of Victoria, British Columbia. A very charming but sad story of whites and Chinese in western Canada in the 1850’s, with the opium trade and head tax. The story travels forward to the grandson in the Canadian Navy and back to the adventures of the past.

Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. I read this book while still in high school. Because it is such a tome, it took a while to read. My mother complained that I was cranky the whole time I was reading it and was relieved when I was finished. But then my sister started it. Same scenario, a cranky read. Great book, a classic.

The Pale Horseman, by Bernard Cornwell. When I started this book I didn’t know the author Cornwell, but said to my husband, you are going to love this book. I discovered it was the third in a series and quickly got the first two. Great series. That got me onto the Richard Sharpe books by the same author and I read about nine of them before I moved on.

Open Season, by Linda Howard. I have read most of Linda Howard’s books but this one stands out along with Son of the Morning. Open Season has a wonderful tongue in cheek effect even while the bad guys murder a fellow right in front of Daisy, who has set out to find herself a mate, urged on by hormones. Son of the Morning, is much more gritty with a young woman running desperately for her life. She ends up doing some time travel, which is not typical Howard, but in its own way it is just as compelling as the first book. Both great books.

Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson. I didn’t read fantasy until my son urged me repeatedly to read this book. When I finished it was I was so impressed that I continued on to read much more of this author. But this is definitely the best. It is not a small tome, but a few years later I was compelled to read it again, it had left such an impression. The young man at the heart of the story comes from a long line of mathematicians. He says about himself that he wasn’t as smart as his forefathers who were code breakers during the Second World War, so he became an engineer. The descriptions of these guys are hilarious, quirky, nerdy. Great fun.

A Son of the Fur Trade, the Memoirs of Johnny Grant. This is a book edited by Gerhard J Ens from the journals of a man who lived in the 1800’s in what is now Canada and the States. Grant called himself a half breed, his mother a native Indian, his father a Hudson’s Bay factor from Quebec. One of several children, he refused to cooperate with the attempts at education that his family made, and soon went his own way. He did business in Utah and Montana, travelled by horseback all over the central plains, was in Manitoba when Louis Riel conducted his uprising. In fact, Riel locked him up in case he tried to interfere. I found this book while doing family genealogy research and found it not just fascinating but a valuable source of information of the times.

Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follet. I had already read many Follet books when I came across this one. By far his best novel, this book captured my attention. The characters are wonderful, compelling and highly motivated. It is a story of the church, the crown and corruption, all worked around the construction of the wonderful stone cathedrals in England and France. Truly a fine work.

The Holy Bible. I never tire of the wisdom and guidance to be found inside this book of books. Even when I am too tired to read much, a few lines, a paragraph are often sufficient.

What are some of your favourite books? Why did they make that list?