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Writing a Book

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SkepticalMetal Posted: Mon, Nov 5 2012 10:18 AM

I'm currently in a kind of contest, where you write 1,667 words each day for the month of November, and by the end of the month, you'll have 50,000 words (novel size).

Anyway, I'm planning on going and getting the book published once I'm all completed. I was wondering if anyone has any advice on getting a book published while still adhering to libertarian values. From what I can see, the advice seems to be to get your manuscript copyrighted early on so you can ensure that it doesn't get stolen when you're shopping it around.

What do I do?

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gotlucky replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 10:24 AM

To be honest, I see nothing wrong with playing the game and copyrighting your material, just so long as you never actually sue or threaten to sue anyone over it. As long as there is copyright, there is always the danger that someone else will take your work and copyright it instead, therefore making it so that they could sue you. This is probably more of a danger with patents and trademarks than with copyright (I think it's harder to pull that BS with something like music or a book), but why take the risk of someone else using the government to screw you out of your work?

If there is a more libertarian way to go about this for the book publishing industry, then I would suggest that. But as it is, I consider it libertarian to use copyright as a preventative measure against other people copyrighting your work. Just don't threaten to sue or actually sue anyone if they do take it.

There are libertarians who consider copyright to be legitimate (I am not one of them), but considering your question, I'm assuming that you consider it to be illegitimate.

EDIT: Fixed a silly typo where I misrepresented OP's beliefs.

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Wheylous replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 10:28 AM

It doesn't seem he considers it legitimate.

Also, pass the book by us before publishing!

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@ Wheylous

Can do!

@ gotlucky

Copyright, for me, is indeed one of the hardest parts of the state to let go of. I've gotten to the point now where I hold IP through the state to be bad, but IP through alternative methods to be good. However this is how the business is set up right now, and I feel like the only way to protect this work is to play the state copyright game.

(personally, I think Rothbard's suggestion of contracts are much more preferable, but that's not how these publishers operate)

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gotlucky replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 10:45 AM

I think you can play the game so long as you don't use the state as a proxy for aggression. Rothbard wrote an essay, Living in a State-Run World, and while it doesn't directly address your question, I think your situation is similar enough to what he talks about, that and it's a great essay anyway. The way I see it, it's not wrong to live in rent controlled housing, but it's wrong to use rent control laws to threaten your landlord or actually use them at all! I see copyright the same way, that it is not wrong to have your work copyrighted, but it is wrong to use copyright laws to threaten others regarding your work (or to sic the state on them).

If there is a better alternative, I would suggest that, but I don't know enough about it. If no one else here can point you in the right direction, then I would say that you could have a clear conscience if you were to copyright your work (again, so long as you don't actually use the copyright against anyone).

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I see. Thank you very much for the advice, and don't worry - I don't plan on pulling a J. D. Salinger.

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gotlucky replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 10:57 AM

Aunintended consequence of the lawsuit was that many details of Salinger's private life, including that he had spent the last twenty years writing, in his words, "Just a work of fiction ... That's all," became public in the form of court transcripts.

Wow. Karma's a bitch.

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I'm a little confused about what he meant by "a work of fiction...That's all."

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Anenome replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 11:31 AM
 
 

NaNoWriMo eh? I'm a writer too :) Not participating this year, even though I've got a few novels in me waiting to be written.

You might look at self-publishing instead; more in line with libertarian values and you get to keep the rights.

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin

Or, even more in line libertarian values, give away the digital version and sell the hardcopy version. That's what the Mises bookstore does too.

You can use Calibre to make PDFs or MOBIs (I love mobis, read them with the Kindle reader).

Good luck :)

If you do actually want to go the traditional publishing route, it's a bear. You need to learn how to write a query-letter. I suggest following agent blogs that public query letters they receive from readers and critique them. You'll have to master the query letter if you ever expect to get an agent and thereby get published (that is the route).

Again, good luck.

 
Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Ha! I was wondering if anyone on here would have heard of NaNo.

Anyway, I don't know if I have the dough for self-publishing. At one point I was considering vanity publishers, but I've since ruled those guys out (or put them aside as a last resort).

Right now, I'm looking into the major publishers that DON'T require an agent, like these guys.

 

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Anenome replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 12:37 PM

Digital self-publishing through Amazon is free. Well, they take a cut of sales, but at least people can access your work.

There's also lulu.com where ppl can get an on-demand hardcopy of your book.

All the benefits of going the traditional publishing route are basically tied to getting an agent and landing a big contract. If you're not gonna go for the home-run, it's probably not worth it. The middle has really dropped out of the market and the big pubs are only investing in what they perceive to be hits.

Here, give this a read:

You Should Self-Publish

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Neodoxy replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 12:40 PM

Skeptic,

I'm curious, what do you think that the content of the book will consist of?

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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@ Anenome

Wow. But you get royalties, right?

By the way Anenome, I forgot to ask you, since you said you were a writer. Do you have any books that you could show me?

@ Neodoxy

I'm not sure what you mean, Neodoxy. Do you mean what the book I'm writing is about?

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Neodoxy replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 12:47 PM

Yes

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Let's just say that it's my version of Catcher in the Rye. It's like the Catcher in the Rye combined with Taxi Driver.

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Anenome replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 5:51 PM

I wrote my first novel at 19, came out 102k words, from before I had even decided to take writing seriousl :P Never tried to publish it tho. Maybe one day, I'd need to re-edit it pretty massively I think.

Shoot for at least 70k, that's minimum publishable in paper-form.

As for royalties, Amazon does pay you royalties under their structure and there's various terms, read up on their offer :)

I've got a short novella up on Amazon now, check your PMs.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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I see. Right now, I'm at over 10,000 words. I took a good look at the Amazon offer, looks pretty sweet.

Also, I checked my PMs. I accepted your friend request, but by your post it sounds like you sent me something, but I can't find anything. What is the name of your novella?

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Anenome replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 6:40 PM

I'll PM you :)

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Ah. I actually just created an account on CreateSpace. And I just got an e-mail...saying that they are required to report my royalty earnings to the IRS.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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I was writing a book once, made it to about 26k words, and then realized that I have a problem making my prose flow properly. It just kind of alternates between "matter of fact description of events" and "infodump".

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Yeah, I make it a point not to re-read my stuff when I'm writing it, it just takes away morale. I prefer to just let it all come out and then attack the rubbish afterwords.

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May I ask what program you are using to write this book?

Do you also have an ereader to test on (Nook, Kindle, Kobo, etc.)?

Anenome:
You can use Calibre to make PDFs or MOBIs (I love mobis, read them with the Kindle reader).


No, stay far away from Calibre for anything you want to be released professionally.

It is an ok tool if you want to use it for personal conversion.  It creates bloated code, and depending on what the original->converted file type is, errors may be introduced.

SkepticalMetal:
Anyway, I'm planning on going and getting the book published once I'm all completed.


Some people use a one stop shop to spread your ebook to many different stores, such as Smashwords or Lulu. The downfall of this is that they take more of a cut than handling the stores by yourself.

https://www.smashwords.com/about/how_to_publish_on_smashwords
http://www.lulu.com/publish/ebooks/

If you have any questions on Self-Publishing, there is also a ton of questions answered on MobileRead.  Here is their "Author's Forum" where lots of questions/answers can be found about self-publishing:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=75

SkepticalMetal:
I was wondering if anyone has any advice on getting a book published while still adhering to libertarian values.


Here is a Stephan Kinsella article I found on the topic:

http://c4sif.org/2012/02/are-creative-commons-licenses-even-enforceable/

Release it under CC-BY, and spread it far and wide.

People will pirate the stuff whether you like it or not, so put it for free on your website for all to read, and also have it available for purchase at the big retailers (for a cheap price, like $.99-$1.99):

Amazon and B&N are the big two you definitely want your books sold.

iBooks is the third largest, but it is a COMPLETE PAIN to get your stuff on there.  It would be easier to go through something like Smashwords for that.

Beyond that point, the rest of the stores only hold a very small market share, although some niche ones might be better depending on the genre.

If you need any help converting things to EPUB, I would be glad to help with that.  You can take a look at all of the EPUBs I converted here (some are already accepted on Mises):

http://misesbooks.blogspot.com
 

My long term project to get every PDF into EPUB: Mises Books

EPUB requests/News: (Semi-)Official Mises.org EPUB Release Topic

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Thanks for the info!

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Youre gonna get alot of girls if youre published.

Even if the book sucks.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

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Nice.

And what if the book is good?

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Youll get more.

And possibly become famous.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

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cool

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I was thinking of writing a kelvin's mannifesto and creating my own ideology (obviously a parody/joke).

But as you know, the public school system takes away time, and mental energy, and i never got around starting it, also coupled with my laziness and procrastination, yeah i never got it done.

Infact, there are many things i shouldve done, which i never got to do.

Now that i think about it, since im only 15, better get that shit done before seeing the face of God, as i lay dieing, recalling my pointless life of do nothing, obeying the state, and not thinking and acting outside the box, stroking my hospital blanket, smothering my stomach as i try to make myself feel as if 1 life mattered out of billions more.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

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Cool story bro.

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Malachi replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 9:05 PM
What all of you kids should be doing is buying precious metals, working odd jobs, and trading stuff on ebay. The writing and stuff is great, especially if you find a traditional outlet and use it to get published, get working on your resume early.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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"trading stuff on ebay"

I would certainly do this, but i have no credit card nor paypal.

And i dont want my parents involved in my activities, because some of them might be er.. illegal?

"buying precious metals"

I have no money, but fair enough...

"work odd jobs"

Only if school took less time, but fair enough i could work in the summer. But where do i find an "odd" job?

The only thing worth putting on my resume, which is also a skill many people have, is my ability to build computers, but theres no job for this kind of skill (computers are built in china, unless im mistaken).

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

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Actually, I just wrote the script for an ultra low-budget libertarian short film dealing with the conscience of a Marxist revolutionary. Fun Fact: Lysander Spooner's ghost makes a guest appearence.

Yeah.

Anyway, I have the camera that I need. I'm going to build a 14 dollar stabilizer for it, and I'm going to make one of those "poor man's boom mic" things for the audio. The hardest thing about it though is getting the actors. I don't have...virtually...any friends right now, and the script requires 4 people (I'll play a part, and so will my Mom. I don't know who I'll get to play the revolutionary and Lysander, and be willing to put on a fake beard and wig for that matter)

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Ay, in your book you can create a few words.

I love the invention of new words, it just tingles in my brain as i make a new word.

Do you live in Los Angeles? If you do, i might be able to play a part...

Have you read 1984, or Ayn Rand's We the Living?

The ayn rand book depicts alot of commnist thinking, the feel good, proletariat unity party power revolutionary collectivist crap.

 

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

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I do not live in Smog City. On the other side of the continent, actually. Florida.

But my book really...doesn't have much to do with libertarianism. As I said before, it's done in the style of a cross between the Catcher in the Rye and Taxi Driver.

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Malachi replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 9:25 PM
No dont do anything illegal. You can make hobby income, just file tax returns. If ebay doesnt work for you then I guess you could hustle your peers. But you cant buy stuff online either. And I would never recommend craigs list to anyone, especially not a minor. Cl is a haven for lowlife con men. And rip off artists.

You should angle for some bullion this holiday season.

as for the jobs, the answer is in the looking. Do you have computer skills? Some people need artwork and graphics for business, you could learn to do that. Youre right its not the easiest thing to do. The idea is that you need to learn to be economically productive as soon as you can. By being here, youre already light-years ahead of your peers in head-knowledge but unless and until you can make some money, you will be a dependent. And the maturity difference shows, the sooner you can start putting into practice the theoretical knowledge you already have, the better off you will be. Youll make good habits and youll probably do alright. Sorry if this sounds like a cop-out. Everything that is possible to do as a job or self-employed requires some sort of capital, even if its just man-hours, calories, and willingness to work. if you dont have time, you dont have time. But its like peter Schiff said to congress, these kids need education, training. On the job training, because you hit the ground running, youre making money from day one. You know what profits mean, right? Wages are the profits earned by the individual firm whose output is labor.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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I have Jim Morrison's outlook on careers. Do what you want to do for a living, because life is too short to make money just so you can eat and sleep so you can make more money again. (Don't worry, I subtracted drunkeness and drug use from the outlook)

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Malachi replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 9:37 PM
Good catch, I forgot that part: one of the secrets to happiness is to get paid to do what you like to do. There are people who make a lot more money than me who are miserable. I've had a varied career and am happy. Some people work the exact same job as me and are miserable. They dont understand that the employment relationship is one of a customer and a producer. Really high-end producers can afford to inject a middle-man, like an agent. You need to figure out all the things you like doing, and then find out who pays for them. Or, look at a list of things that people get paid to do, and find out which ones you enjoy. Do they still make you take interest inventory tests in school? Those are theoretically useful but they always drove me insane because I didnt want to do any of the things on the test. I also scored equal parts people, ideas, and things. Most people have a preference.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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Yeah. That's why if somebody tells me they want to be a rock star when they grow up, I don't say "let's be realistic here" I make a point to say "go for it." After all, I plan on becoming a filmmaker, and I've gotten a lot of crap over the years like "be realistic dude" and stuff like that. The way I see it, we all have a limited amount of time on this planet. Let's use that time to do something fun and not live for the sake of dragging on.

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Malachi replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 9:46 PM
Dont let those jerks push you into college or university before you are ready. If you have to, get your AA at junior college. Figure out what you want
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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Anenome replied on Mon, Nov 5 2012 9:47 PM

"The hardest thing about it though is getting the actors. I don't have...virtually...any friends right now, and the script requires 4 people"

Fun fact: There's lots of actors willing to work pro bono for a resume credit on Craig's List. But they would need to have libertarian sympathies perhaps.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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