Review: Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook by Helen Sedwick

SP-Legal-Handbook-Kindle-coverEach year more and more authors have opted to self-publish. Many of them probably read a how-to guide before venturing into self-publishing. There are many handbooks that are insightful, informative, and helpful. Yet, when a certain topic comes up, most of the authors say that they can’t give any advice since they aren’t experts. What’s the topic? Legal issues.

A lot of people don’t like to think about legal issues. Many more don’t understand or stick their heads in the sand and hope for the best. Helen Sedwick noticed that there weren’t any legal handbooks for self-published authors when she was preparing to enter the self-publishing world herself for the first time. Sedwick, an attorney in California, understands that a lot of people are afraid to speak about this issue. Let’s face it, the law can be challenging. However, not understanding the basics can get any writer into serious trouble.

Sedwick’s Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook: The Step-by-Step Guide to the Legal Issues of Self-Publishing should be on every author’s shelf. Her approach is simple. Each chapter outlines the basic facts and has suggestions of how to avoid legal issues. She points out that the law changes as does self-publishing, so this book is just a stepping stone for going down the right path. But it’s best to be on the right path from the beginning even if things change.

The book covers several areas that will be helpful to self-published authors, bloggers, and traditional authors. The concepts discussed range from setting up a business, using a self-publishing company versus doing it yourself, hiring editors and designers, how to protect your rights, marketing and distribution, and it even discusses the one topic many of us would like to avoid but never can: taxes.

Her style isn’t scary, even if some of the words may give readers heart palpitations just thinking about them. Sedwick simplifies the scary and presents ways to avoid ending up in a costly legal battle. Her goal is to help you avoid wasting money and time on things that could have been avoided in the first place.

And if you find that no matter what you need to hire an attorney, don’t fret. She has a section on how to select an attorney who is right for you and your situation.

This guide is a valuable resource for self-published authors, even if you have been self-publishing for years. You may learn you haven’t made the right decisions about everything even though you thought you had. Some of the topics may surprise many experienced authors.

For authors getting ready to jump into the self-publishing world for the first time, this is one of the books you should read before hitting the publishing button. Then keep it by your side throughout your career.

While Sedwick is a California-based attorney, this work is still helpful for those residing outside of the state and outside of the US. It won’t answer all questions that non-US authors might have, but at least it can point you in the right direction, which is don’t hope for the best but seek legal counsel. It may save you money, time, and stress.

Don’t hesitate; get your copy now.

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