Monday, July 13, 2015

Storytelling and Permission to Publish

Imagine family members sitting around on couches or on the floor--hanging out and telling stories. Add popcorn and lemonade and you practically have a party. Someone shouts, "Have I got a good one for you!" or "I can to top that!" Story-telling can go to the competition level where we try to one-up the last story told. One person after another wants to share. Good times, right?

Some of you know that I have been collecting personal stories for two inspirational non-fiction books--one about missionaries and one about bishops. I've made good progress in wrapping up the missionary stories book for submission, but the detail of gaining permission has been a pain. Even though people tell a story and say I can use it for publication, I need to show proof to my publisher. Legalities are important these days. That important step is today's lesson.

It's time to put all the permissions granted together in one place. I scoured through emails from the past two years, finding some easily through the search engine and losing others that I needed to contact all over again. This is so not-the-fun-part of the project. At least I kept a spread sheet with contact information, dates, and more. This is vital for anyone who compiles outside stories, photos, sources, etc. I wish I had also made copies of the permission as I went along, instead of putting it into one document at the end. But, phew! That part is now done! I even have my Church Intellectual Property permissions for using LDS scriptures and Conference talk quotes.

What's left? I've started filling out the editorial and marketing forms, which give the publishing team ideas for a title and cover, list my bio, and tell the media other things about me. I'm going to have my computer's audio speaker feature read the manuscript back to me one last time as I view each page for errors. It'll take a week, maybe two. Then...ta da! I send it off.

Each writing projects has some non-writing details attached to it. Make sure to prepare in advance for those that require permissions so that things can go as smoothly as possible. Here's hoping the way I did it is adequate and not another author learning curve.

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