Friday, January 29, 2016

Storyteller's Journey

    A Writer's Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property - (noun)
a work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.
Photo Credit: Public Domain

Recently I visited an attorney, who specializes in intellectual property, regarding our book The Scandinavian Santa. (Thankfully, she had only kind comments for our book, unlike the poor fellow in the graphic!)

We have been presented with an exciting opportunity for the book, but before we proceed with it, I felt it prudent to receive some legal advice. (I'll share more information about this new opportunity if and when it's finalized.) While I'll not share specifics of what I learned, I will say that every published author should have legal counsel available to her - preferably a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property. I received a plethora of information regarding copyrights, contracts, trademarks etc.

While I'm laboring on a new manuscript I'm hoping my story will work out to be something worthy of publication. Rarely, if ever, have I allowed my mind to wander on other possibilities for my creation. However, it is something that every writer should consider - at least as far as rights, residuals, and trademarks go. If nothing else, have an attorney in mind that specializes in intellectual property. (Believe it or not, unless you live in L.A. or NYC, those attorneys are few and far between!) That way, you won't be caught off guard if you have the opportunity to bring your story to life in another form, besides a book.

I wrote this blog post primarily to raise the issue of a writer's need for legal counsel. It is in no way meant to be legal advice, or even a recommendation on when to seek legal counsel. This post is merely me musing after consulting a great attorney specializing in intellectual property. I'm really glad I met with her; I learned a lot!

It's dangerous to make assumptions about your intellectual property!


  1. You raise some good points here. I don't think it occurs to writers when they are wrapped up in the creative process that the business of writing is equally important. Good luck with Scandinavian Santa and whatever form the story might take.

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. We're cautiously optimistic about what's been presented to us. However, I've heard about too many authors getting thrilled about an opportunity only to have their hopes dashed. I'll be sure and post updates! :-)