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Word of the Day: due diligence

due dil·i·gence

NOUN
  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.

 

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