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"I had this feeling that I'd never get to the other side of the street. I thought I'd just go down, down, down, and nobody'd ever see me again. . . . But I kept going. I was sort of afraid to stop, I think"

From Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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PubGuy's Archives:

Geoff Shackelford Interview

Some of the PubGuy's favorite literary haunts include:—far and away the coolest author website.—just discovered this one. Really cool.—the name says it all. Don't you want to hang out there?

Visit these other sites for additional information on Print-On-Demand:

Books and Tales

Julie Duffy

Writers Weekly

Piers Anthony

For information on copyright law, check out these sites:

Publishing Law Center

Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center

Check out these websites created by iUniverse authors:


Permissions Help Accessorize Your Book

So you’ve found the perfect piece of art to use for your book cover or you just have to reprint the song lyrics from “Sweet Caroline” during the karaoke scene in your latest novel, but, you're unsure how to get permission to use these gems?

Ask Natalie and Melissa.

Natalie Giboney and Melissa Flamson are the women behind and can assist in obtaining copyright permissions for just about anything. Both are graduates of the University of Missouri-Columbia and count McGraw-Hill and Prentice-Hall among their clients.
With over 15 years of experience in the copyright research field, Natalie and Melissa shared some of that knowledge with the PubGuy.

PG: Where does the majority of your business come from? Publishers or individual authors?
FP: We have a wide range of clients, from individual authors to large publishers. The majority of our projects currently come from publishers, yet authors are increasingly becoming an essential part of our business.

PG: Has the advent of Print-On-Demand Publishers like iUniverse led to an increase in your business?
FP: Yes, Print-On-Demand requires authors to be more involved in the publishing process. We have noticed an increase in authors contacting us for advice and hiring us to help secure permissions for their book.

PG: What are some of the most frequently-asked questions by first-time authors?
FP: The first question authors have is regarding what specific services we provide. Of course, our answer is "Everything you could possibly need when it comes to copyright permissions!." We are able to research rightsholders, request permission, secure the agreements, and negotiate fees to keep within our clients' budget. We also provide frequent updates and full documentation of our work, so that our clients stay thoroughly informed.

Authors are curious about the cost of permissions and the cost of our services, as well. For our services, we offer competitive hourly or per item rates. There are a wide range of permissions fees, depending on who controls the rights. Some major factors which rightsholders consider when setting fees are the estimated maximum print run of the book, territory distribution, and retail price. Making projections about the maximum print run is difficult with print-on-demand publishing, so we help our clients make the most accurate estimates possible and we work to keep their permission fees at a bare minimum.

The amount of time needed to secure permissions is something that also comes up. We will work with any time frame, but we recommend allowing two to three months for permissions, because rightsholders have response times ranging from several weeks to several months.

PG: What are some commonly-held misconceptions about copyright law?
FP: People often think that if a selection is short or old, it is fair game. This brings us to two of the essential components of copyright law, fair use and public domain.

It is not always the case that a small amount of text is fair use. For example, if it is a short work, such as a poem or short story, then the "small amount" could be a significant enough percentage of the work to require requesting permission. It is also a little more complex than the number of words that are used. Other factors include the nature of the original work, the purpose and the effects of your use. So, when in doubt, it is always good to ask a professional. A website with more information is

Public domain rules are fairly complex. As a general rule, for a work to be in the public domain in the US, it must have been originally published before 1923. After that date, it becomes more confusing. There is a table outlining these rules at If a book is to be distributed in other countries, one must follow their copyright laws, as well. With artwork, the art itself may be in the public domain, but the photograph of the art may still be copyrighted. We research the public domain status of selections and let our clients know whether or not they require permission.

PG: What has been your most challenging and/or gratifying assignment with
In general, the most challenging assignments are usually the most gratifying. We take particular pride in our ability to track down the most elusive rightsholders. We like to think that, if they can be found, we'll be the ones to find them. Melissa has a story about a photographer who she needed to contact for a photo permission. None of the publishers who he had worked with had current contact information for him, and she learned that he went on photography stints of up to three years in Siberia, with little contact with the rest of the world. She ended up getting in touch with him through his girlfriend whose name appeared in a magazine interview- even though the magazine had misspelled both the woman's first and last names!

We are only satisfied when our clients are satisfied. We do everything we can to ensure that they have permission to include that perfect image or excerpt, which makes their book complete.


The PubGuy recommends the following iUniverse titles:

Miss Media by Lynn Harris

Just in time for the new millennium, things are falling into place. Online advice columnist Lola Somerville lands the plummest of jobs at Ovum Inc., the hip new TV and web network promising smart programming for women.

But Lola soon starts to suspect that something is rotten in Ovum’s 24-hour juice bar. Are her sidekicks Kat and Ted the only people who know about her forbidden romance? Whose idea was it to change the women’s sports show from “Sweat” to “Glow?” Could she—and her entire demographic—be up against forces more powerful than incompetence? The sinister, surprising truths Lola uncovers will change her, her slice of the world, and the market share of Ben and Jerry’s, forever.

Finding True Center by Michael Gordon

A novel for those who love golf lore, America's famous courses, true friends, and the occasional wager.

Lifelong friends Nick and Easy love both golf and a serious wager. Their shared passion moves beyond the extreme when a drunken bar bet results in a far-fetched scheme: playing head-to-head in every state across America as the ultimate measure to determine the better golfer. Only their self-styled, cross-country championship quickly takes a series of unexpected turns.

Rated F by Todd Noker

In this satire about censorship gone too far, Rated F examines the insanity of attempting to make everything non-offensive for everyone.

When the resourceful owner of a struggling video rental business gives his customers what they want—R-rated movies that are edited for the family—the profits start to roll in. His life quickly spirals out of control when media attention about his successful business leads to a parade of fanatics that either want to kill him, or have him alter their personal video collections.

Devil in the House by Paul Theis

This gripping insider story of duplicity on Capitol Hill illuminates the workings of a congressional office without a congressman and a campaign without a candidate.

“This novel about the inner workings of the U.S. Congress is as timely as today’s news and as unsettling as tomorrow’s headlines—and just as intriguing.”
Robert H. Michel, former Minority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives