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Thread: Legalities regarding a memoire..

  1. #1
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    Legalities regarding a memoire..

    I was wondering if anyone knew the legalities surrounding a memoire in referencce to writting about other people, those who have influnced your life?

    for example...a teacher who showed great kindness to you, your family and its struggles, a counsellor, a friend, ect.

    do you have to get permission to write things about these people or i is it only if you're writting a biography type deal on them, or is it only if you write a certain amount about them, or certain things? For example if your writting a paragraph on someones drug use and how that affected you, or how your therapist changed your life?

    I'm just not sure, so if anyone knows that'd be sweet! Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    I am unsure about a that . I am getting a book I have been writing published real soon about my life and a certain person who was in it , that was my lover and friend . In the book she switches bodies with people etc .... It gets real detailed , but I have changed the names . So I am unsure of how you would got about writing something unless maybe you got legal advice from a lawyer concerning using real peoples names . Which is why I changed mine .

  3. #3
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    You may want to check with a lawyer to be sure, but I'm failry certain that as long as you tell the absolute truth with no intent to slander the person, you can write all you want about them.
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  4. #4
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    Aranarose is correct. You can write pretty much whatever you want about real people, as long as it's truthful and not malicious.

    Faith is easy -- until the moment you actually need it.

    "Since when are facts subjective?" - Athena_Nadine

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    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all convictions, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity."

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
    I was wondering if anyone knew the legalities surrounding a memoire in referencce to writting about other people, those who have influnced your life?

    for example...a teacher who showed great kindness to you, your family and its struggles, a counsellor, a friend, ect.

    do you have to get permission to write things about these people or i is it only if you're writting a biography type deal on them, or is it only if you write a certain amount about them, or certain things? For example if your writting a paragraph on someones drug use and how that affected you, or how your therapist changed your life?

    I'm just not sure, so if anyone knows that'd be sweet! Thanks!
    It doesn't matter.

    Let me tell you why.

    1.) If you are planning on attempting to get this book published by a publisher, then said publisher will have a look at all of the legal mumbo-jumbo long before the book is printed. Trust me, there are many stages of proof-reading and what-not before a book is printed. (Did you realize that you misspelled "writing" a total of 3 times in your original post? That's why the Gods invented proofreaders...)

    2.) If you are planning on using the services of a vanity press, (Lulu, CreateSpace, AuthorHouse, BookSurge, etc.) then chances are...no one will read your book anyways. I'm not trying to be mean here, but save your money. If you really want to have it printed (like, to sell to friends and family or something), make sure you use a service that doesn't want money upfront. (IIRC, there are a couple that don't.) And please - Don't start calling yourself a "published author," and if you do try to get published in the future, NEVER put self-published "credits" in your query letters. Remember: Money flows TO the author. Anyone asking for money FROM the author is a scam-artist.
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  6. #6
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    If it's personal, like a diary or BOS.. Those are your thoughts and I think it's okay to put down whatever you want.

    If you're getting it published.. It's best to ask permission of whoever you're involving.

  7. #7
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    Sidetracking the conversation for a second--

    Lulu and Createspace really aren't vanity presses, not the same way that Authorhouse and PublishAmerica are. The former offer publishing services for a fee, but they don't claim to be traditional publishers like the latter do. If you want to self-publish (which is very different from vanity publishing) then Lulu and Createspace are good options.

    Also, depending on the publisher and genre, self-publishing can be an asset. In neopagan/occult publishing, for example, there are cases of self-published authors getting picked up by a publishing company. Robert Bartlett self-published his book on alchemy for years, and then Weiser/Red Wheel picked it up and did a new edition. My own publisher that I work with, Immanion Press/Megalithica Books, has also done similar things, such as with Joshua Wetzel's The Paradigmal Pirate.

    The world of publishing is changing, and while the publishers are often the last ones to know, they are beginning to see what direction the wind's blowing.

    /end tangent of publishing geekery
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupabitch View Post
    Lulu and Createspace really aren't vanity presses, not the same way that Authorhouse and PublishAmerica are. The former offer publishing services for a fee, but they don't claim to be traditional publishers like the latter do. If you want to self-publish (which is very different from vanity publishing) then Lulu and Createspace are good options.

    Also, depending on the publisher and genre, self-publishing can be an asset.
    Self-publishing using a printer can be a useful thing for "niche" books, like the Pagan world. But pretty much anyone using Lulu or Createspace or whatever to print a fiction or literary book is essentially using them as a vanity press. There are exceptions, but hey...sometimes people win the Lottery too.
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  9. #9
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    Oct 2009
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    I work in publishing....let the publisher figure it out for you. That's what they are paid for....just like Bryon said. Just write your story...and let them handle the details. As for the spelling errors....that's what the copy editor is for! Lol!

    Cheers,

    Lilitu

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