As a self-published writer, you already skip several steps that traditional publishing may require. For example, instead of being given an editor by the publishing company, you may have hand picked your editor or editors depending on the scope of your project. You may have hired your own book cover designer, set your own release dates, purchased your own ISBN numbers and prepared your own launch. All of these things can be time consuming, but most of all they can be very legally confusing if you aren't sure what you are doing. Here are a few ways a commercial lawyer could help you make sure you keep the integrity of your pen name and your self-publishing writing career.
Helping With Business Legalities
One of the first things you may need to consider is creating your business or publishing name. This can be an umbrella company name that hosts your publishing, pen name, writing and other aspects of your business. The key to keep in mind is your taxes will be paid through this business name. You will also be paying yourself through this business name to show and income. These are major considerations with real legal implications if it is not handled properly. Your commercial lawyer can draw up these papers and help you make sure they are legally binding.
Helping With Contracts
There is more to self-publishing than just turning around and hiring someone to help you with various aspects of the book. Even if you know all the people you hire, you will need to have some sort of contract to protect both you and them. This contract will talk about the scope of the work, the pay and anything else pertaining to the work. Your commercial lawyer can help you figure out what needs to be in the contracts, draw up the contracts, notarize them and file them if necessary once they are signed.
Plagiarism and Debt Protection
Even though you may not think it would happen to you, there are some cases where you may have someone that doesn't do what they said they would with a contract. They may also turn around and try to use your work as theirs. These issues can be prevented by the right legal documents, ISBN number registration and copyrights. A commercial lawyer will know what needs to be done to prevent issues like this with your self-publishing and what options you may have legally if something happens down the road.
These are only three of the aspects to your self-publishing writing and business that a commercial lawyer can help with. If you have any more issues or if you want to know what other options are available for your specific business, you can discuss that in a consultation with your commercial lawyer.