Copyright & Publishing Queries

Copyright FAQs

Copyright is the right of an author or publisher to exploit his or her creation in certain ways and, at the same time, the right to prevent others from doing so.

Intellectual property is the product of the mind. Copyright is one’s right to protect one’s intellectual property from unauthorised use.

In South Africa, copyright does not need to be registered. Your unique work is protected as you create it.

Your original creation is protected by law. If someone copies it, and you are able to prove that it is your work, you may take legal action against them.

Oops! There is no copyright on ideas. It is better to write the idea down than to share it with all and sundry.

This is when someone passes off an idea as their own.

Read more on this topic on the PASA website, or ask your questions here.

Publishing FAQs

This is when a publishing company is granted the right to publish your work. They invest their (financial and other) resources into it, follow a stringent publishing process, and get your book into bookshops. In return, they offer the author a royalty, usually between 9 and 13%, on each book sold. A royalty advance is given upon publishing, and subsequent royalties will only be paid when the royalty advance is covered. While the publishing company has marketing channels in place, authors are still strongly encouraged to market their book in order to increase sales.

This is when an author follows the publishing process privately and invests her own resources (financial and otherwise) into the publishing of her book. In this case, marketing and distribution fall squarely on the shoulders of the author. All financial risk and investment are taken on by the author, and all sales income goes directly to the author.

  • Writing the book (the author)
  • Editing (a professional editor) – Read about the three types of editing here
  • Internal layout
  • Cover desing
  • Proofreading
  • Beta reading and/or sensitivity reading
  • Printing
  • Marketing – Strategising and Campaigning
  • Distribution

This process, if done correctly, may take between 6 and 12 months to complete.

Ask more questions here.