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The Personal/Business Side of Writing



Actors Fund of America
A database of insurers that cover self-employed and small-business individuals

Authors Guild
If you meet their qualifications, you can subscribe to a health insurance plan they offer

Mystery Writers of America
Health insurance is available through MWA for members meeting certain criteria


Articles for Writers and Publishers
Articles on foreign rights, contracts, distribution, copyrights, fair use, protection of book titles, pen names, and more.

Authors Guild
This Authors Guild site provides a legal search database of information on recent federal and state court decisions covering publishing, first amendment and a wide range of other intellectual property issues.

Authors Lawyer
Includes copyright information (books, public domain information, piracy and infringement, legal authority), and information on publishing and printing scams

The Business of Writing - Writer Beware
Includes model contracts for different categories

Contracts:  Top Ten Things to Negotiate
A good overview of things to look for in negotiating your book contract

E-Legal offers access to legal forms, legal products, legal services and legal advice, many of which are free.

Legal Docs
This site allows you to prepare customized legal documents and legal forms directly online, many of which are free.

National Writers Union
A labor union that represents freelance writers in all genres, formats, and media. Members can have contract advisers help you negotiate better contracts, receive grievance assistance and participate in a health and dental plan.
Pen Names
Some legal issues to consider about pen names

Publishing Law Center
This site is devoted to providing quality legal information for the publishing community (publishers, authors, editors, web masters, and freelancers), including trademarks, copyrights, contracts, and fair use.

Standard Contract for a Novel
The Mystery Writers of America has a template, courtesy of the Society of Authors' Representatives, or what a standard contract looks like (dated as of 2000, however)

U.S. Copyright Office
Databases and information on topics like how to register a literary work and public domain issues


101 Book Marketing Sites
Top sites of interest to book authors, publishers, and self-publishers, based on the sole judgment of publicist John Kremer

Author Buzz
Marketing service by MJ Rose for a fairly steep fee. If you have more money than you do time, this may be for you.

Book Signing Tips
This site from author Larry James has some tips he’s compiled on how to make book signings better, with lots of “Do’s” and “Don’ts.”

Breakthrough Promotions
This publicity company has represented several mystery authors in the past.

Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing
This site has hundreds of pages of information and free documents plus books, reports, disks and tapes available for purchase.

Guide to Publicity Materials
This site, from the Mystery Writers of America, has some good advice on everything from writing your biographical information to newsletters, postcards, and bookmarks.

How to Attract Links and Increase Web Traffic
Although not geared specifically for writers, this site has some tips that may be helpful for your web site strategy.

John Kremer’s Book Marketing Tip of the Week
An archives of Kremer’s newsletter tips
Murder Must Advertise
A discussion group on Yahoo with tips and advice for mystery authors on how to market their books.

Promoting Your Writing
Articles on General Promotion Tips, Booksigning Tips, Press Releases and Press Kits, Promoting Online and Public Speaking and Media Appearances. has provided free book marketing for authors since 1999 for those authors who are independently-published (not with the big houses).  They have lots of free articles online for anyone.

Reading Group Guides
When your book is published, you can add your book to this database of information for reading groups.

The Shy Writer
A web site from C. Hope Clark, who has written a book on the subject.  Although mostly a site for her book, it also includes some tips and a link to a Yahoo discussion group.

Things to Do Before You Sell Promotion Checklist
This site is from the San Francisco Area Romance Writers of America, but it has information that is applicable to mystery authors, too. It has some basic suggestions on things to do before your book launch, from the time you sell the book to a publisher.

Your Book Promotion Countdown Checklist
Tips from the Fiction Factor folks on steps to take from 9-12 months before publication of your book, right on down to the launch.


The Backspace Community is dedicated to helping writers navigate the often confusing world of publishing. They have over 600 members from a dozen countries and a constantly revolving line-up of guest speakers including literary agents, editors, and authors in  the online forums that you can participate in for a small annual fee. The site also includes free articles, columns, and news from industry insiders.

Bookselling This Week
This is an adjunct web site for the American Booksellers Association, an organization of independent booksellers, and includes the latest news among independents.

BookWire profiles new titles and authors, and the general scoop on the book industry, and includes book reviews, news on the latest releases, author video clips, and upcoming book events. 

The Economics of Publishing
This page, from the Mystery Writers of America, might be an eye-opener for some authors and potential authors. It takes a look at the costs involved to publish a typical book, and how the publisher often loses money on the deal.

Media Bistro
A web site for media professionals, they offer a variety of pay-per-use services such as online classes and workshops, job databases and personal web pages, forums, and the AvantGuild feature also offers pitching an agent articles, discounts on various services, and the opportunity to buy health and dental insurance.

Midwest Book Review
Primarily a book review site and organization (with priority given to small press publishers, self-published authors, and academic presses) lots of articles with advice for writers and publishers, copyright resources, publicity and promotion information, and lots of links to other organizations of interest to writers and publishers.

Para Publishing
Dan Poynter’s site offers many free articles about the publishing business for both publishers and writers

Publishers Weekly
This is the online site for the print publication which takes a look at the publishing industry and latest news. The site includes newsletters, reviews, bookselling news, book news with deals, author interviews, events, and trends, bestseller lists, commentary, many of which are free. 



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