Word of the Day: due diligence

due dil·i·gence

  1. law

  • reasonable steps taken by a person in order to satisfy a legal requirement, especially in buying or selling something.
  • a comprehensive appraisal of a business undertaken by a prospective buyer, especially to establish its assets and liabilities and evaluate its commercial potential.

Once you have completed your story or the collection of stories that you want to publish, consider everything that you will be using from the font, to the artwork and at the very least to the content within your work.

Simply put, verify EVERYTHING that you will be using.

It’s too easy to believe something is public domain unless you track down who said it, wrote it or created it in the first place

On my first cover, I spent almost three days researching an image using TinEye (see link under tools) and finally located the original author through a link to a YouTube video of all things.

The next time a piece of artwork nearly caused an issue was a photo of a bear that at first had appeared to be public domain only to find out that when I contacted the artist that there would have been a significant price tag for using it.

Fortunately places like shutterstock.com (listed under resources) offer many options that are available for set fees and clearly delineated license agreements.

Specialty fonts, while freely offered, are not necessarily free to use either. Many times it may be a simple donation to the artist that allows you to use it, but make sure you contact them and verify, verify, verify.

Quotes are another tricky thing as I’ve recently discovered. Much like artwork you can find quotes on just about anything. But if a quote is used in a book,  you will need to first contact the publisher and if need be the author themselves before you can use it.

Fortunately many publishers are open to negotiating some sort of license and are more than willing to work with other writers who may want to use a quote and also verify that it is properly credited where they use it.

Just remember that what you are publishing needs to have all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed or you may find a lawyer or two sending very official notices of copyright violation.


Author: admin

Bob Sellers and his family live in Southern Minnesota (USA) where he is employed as a Senior Programmer Analyst who enjoys bleeding purple and gold while cheering for his Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. As part of his many hobbies, he is also an avid motorcyclist and enjoys competition barbecue whenever possible. Many years ago, he ventured into fan fiction while he participated in several events that were organized by fans of the Forever Knight television show and further went on to enjoy the hobby while as a member of the on-line writers groups once offered by Kelley Armstrong. With the discovery of Wattpad and his more recent involvement as part of the Rochester MN Writers Group, he has enjoyed learning much to take his stories to the next level, both in content and design. A long time fan of the supernatural, he’s always been interested and enjoyed the darker tales of things that go bump in the night.

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