Tag Archives: rights

New Submission Process

As with virtually every little detail to do with Romantic Shorts since its inception, what seemed like a good idea at the time turns out to need some tweaking. Or some reconsideration. Or some serious “what-was-I-thinking” back-pedaling…

And so, we now have a newly revamped submission process for manuscripts.

Authors can now find all of the submission information online, without having to leave the site to email their manuscripts. Check out the Submission Guidelines page here at Romantic Shorts H.Q. You’ll find a link at the bottom to access our Submission Terms & Conditions page. There, are listed all of the conditions Romantic Shorts asks of our Authors. In order to be published at Romantic Shorts, you must agree to these terms; following through by submitting your manuscript confirms your acceptance.

Of course, as always, this is a learning process and we are always open to suggestions and corrections. If you have any concerns about any of the terms, or if there’s something you’d like to see added or deleted, please contact us. What is currently posted there is the accumulation of various ideas and needs that particularly suit Romantic Shorts. Much of the page is very similar to any other publishing contract you may have seen in the past. But quite a bit of it is specifically designed to meet the needs – current and projected – of Romantic Shorts and our Authors. (Feel free to replace ‘projected’ with any other uncertain adjective of your choosing….)

Any manuscripts that are already in our files, are subject to existing and proposed contracts relating to each respective situation. Incoming manuscripts, however, will be subject to the new Submission Terms & Conditions.

The bottom line right now is, having tried the contract process for our new and unique format the traditional way, and finding it to be tedious and labour-intensive, this new stream-lined approach seems to be a practical option.

Who knows? There’s no one to ask. No model to copy. It’s a difficult path, this one less-traveled. But oh, the adventure!!


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Filed under For Writers, What's New @ R.S.

Do I have to get my book copyrighted?

Although this may vary from country to country, in Canada, everything you write is legally yours. You own the copyright to everything you create.
The copyright remains yours, and part of your estate, until 50 years after you die. You don’t have to do anything.
Unless you sell it. (Basically, when a publisher offers you a contract, they are ‘buying first rights,’ or ‘renting’ your work from you. There are a zillion variations on what rights you can negotiate – second prints, paperbacks, reprints, movies, etc. – but you start with selling first rights. Once the publisher has fulfilled their contractual obligations – they’ve used up all their rights – the full copyright reverts back to you. The only way all of this matters to you prior to being published is if you send your work out to more than one publisher at a time – in general they don’t like that, and you must tell them if you do.)
Other than that, make sure you get some sound legal advice before signing any contract affecting your work. Protect yourself, but be prepared to negotiate. A professional will be able to explain your options and obligations.
Visit the CIPO – Canadian Intellectual Property Office – website for some of the more readable info.

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Filed under Writing and Getting Published 101

About Writer's Rights and Romantic Shorts

I was called to task the other day on the Authonomy (from HarperCollins) writer’s forum. Seems a some writers had visited http://www.RomanticShorts.com and had taken issue with the issue of our stance on writers’ rights.

Their comments were clear:

“No, no, no. This is not good for writers.
You want the rights to a writer’s story. Get out.”
“Yeah . . . this really isn’t a good thing . . . Please don’t give up the rights to you work!”

“Here is the bit of fine print you need to be aware of if you choose to submit:
“If your submission is accepted, you will be notified of that, and will be required to submit your agreement to your story’s publication on Romantic Shorts. Once your story has been published online, it becomes the sole property of Romantic Shorts, with all rights being transferred to us, and we reserve the right to edit your work as needed to be included on our site. You will be credited online for the authorship of the original work.”

I wracked my brain trying to remember everything I could about writers’ rights and realized how very right they were to be upset by this, one of the most important issues writers face. I had set about making the appropriate changes to those guidelines, and while I was at it, I replied to the posts asking for additional info and insight. Turns out this was a good thing.

I heard this explanation back today:

“The writer Must retain all rights to what he/she has written. This is a huge deal. A one time right to publish, either on paper or on the internet is fine, but the rights must revert back to the writer as soon as the work is published.
If a writer doesn’t have the rights to a book, for instance, he/she can’t sign a publishing contract. That writer is in a real bind.”

Especially if Romantic Shorts isn’t in a position to pay its authors yet. I get it.

So the website has had a serious overhaul over the holidays. Our first New Year’s competition is set for announcing this Tuesday. I’ll go back and tweak those points some more in the morning.

I’m finding this undertaking of mine is starting to show its own momentum. Kinda like the first time you realize your baby is smiling at you for real – it’s not just gas!

Thanks Authonomy for the help! Check us out somewhere down the road. We may have something interesting for you!


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Filed under For Writers, From Writers