Things I didn’t know about publishing… Pt 2

Part two of things I didn’t know that I didn’t know until I googled them…

So, in my novel, I quote song lyrics from a well known singer/songwriter. After a ton of research, I discovered that you have to have a licence to actually print them. I only discovered this when I was trying to find out the best way to present them in the novel itself.

I genuinely didn’t know this. As obvious as it might seem to some people, it just never occurred to me. I thought that giving credit within the story, as in naming the artist and the song, would be enough. It’s not. It turns out, you have to track down the owner of the copyright. NEWSFLASH: this isn’t necessarily the person that actually wrote or sang the words you want to use. It is insanely hard to track down who actually holds the key to giving permission to use someone else’s words. I have abused the search engine function trying to find this information. Also, it would appear that you have to pay, possibly quite a lot of cash, to get this licence.

Turns out the easiest thing to do is NOT PRINT THE LYRICS. I have read some pretty good blog posts that advise writing your own song instead. Which I have since been trying to do, rather unsuccessfully as it goes.

Another thing I’ve found out recently. Book covers are not as easy to produce as you might think. Photoshop cannot be used by mere mortals. You need to possess some form of magical powers to be able to create your own book cover using one of these photo editing programs. I’m kidding, I’m sure lots of other people find it easy. I really don’t. I’ve nearly launched my laptop across the room several times whilst trying to create one myself. Then I found several thousand web links to people who have made lists of the worst indie book covers ever made, and promptly stopped trying to do it myself. Some things should just be left to the professionals.

And my last one for today. Taglines.

While I was shopping around for what a decent book cover should look like, I was introduced to the concept of taglines. You know that one short line on a book cover or film poster that makes you want to know more? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve noticed them before, I just haven’t ever really paid much attention to them.

My title for the book is quite short, and doesn’t really give that much away so I decided to include a tagline after seeing them. It’s actually bloody hard it is to create one small sentence to sum up your entire novel and at the same time entice people to want to know more. Cue yet another internet search of some of the most famous taglines.

Anyone remember the Jaws one? ‘Don’t go in the water.’ Simple and effective. I wonder how long it took someone to come up with that. I spent an entire week irritating two of my best friends while I tried to come up with one. (Thanks for all your input guys!) It’s finally written, although I’m constantly testing myself to see if I can think of a better one. So far, I haven’t. But there’s always tomorrow, I guess.



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