Monday, May 26, 2008

Legal Write Pub E-Brief: May/June Events Issue

Legal Write Publications E-Brief
What's New!

In This Issue
Next Stops on the Lit Law Express
ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist
The Dreaded Fear of Negotiation, by Tonya M. Evans-Walls

Quick Links
Visit our website
Writer Resources
About Us
Visit our Bookstore

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
May 26, 2008

Greetings,

The first official day of summer isn't until June 20th but Memorial Day Weekend seems to be the unofficial start for most. And I don't know about the weather in your neck of the woods, but folks in Texas are knee deep in the 90s from the looks of the national weather map! As for Philly, the weather today is picture perfect - warm, breezy, nurturing and energizing. And it's a great day to garden as the family grills and chills on the deck.

And it's also a great opportunity to let you know about some important upcoming events in May and June, including ForeWord Magazine's "Best of 2007" Awards announcements at BookExpo next week where we could win Best Reference Book of 2007!

See below for important event information, articles, links and an exclusive 20% sale on all on-line purchases if you order by May 31st.

And also check out the exciting details about Contracts Companion for Writers, selected by ForeWord Magazine as Book of the Year Finalist in the reference category!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NEXT STOPS ON THE LIT LAW EXPRESS

BookExpo America
  • May 27 - June 1 ScheduleEvents
  • May 29th: Tonya Evans-Walls, member of the PMA University Faculty, presents "Protect Your Copyright, Fair Use and Permissions" at 4:00 PM with Jonathan Kirsch. All PMA U events are held at the Wilshire Grand Hotel.
  • May 30th: Signing copies of Copyright Companion for Writers at 1:00 P.M. in PMA Pavilion Booth 727
  • May 31st: Signing copies of Contracts Companion for Writers at 2:00 P.M. in the Autographing Area, Table 26
  • May 31st: Delivering remarks at the African American Pavilion Awards Ceremony at approximately 3:00 P.M in the Staging Area next to Booth 4256
  • May 29-June 1: All legal reference titles on display in the New Title Showcase Display Area at the Convention Center entrance and in the Booth 727. Show specials include 50% off all orders of 10 or more copies plus free S/H. for more info.

Other Upcoming Events

  • Various poetry readings in Philadelphia, NJ and DC (check website often for updated schedule)
  • June 19-21: Black Writers Reunion & Conference, Tampa, FL
    For more information about these and all other events and appearances, visit our Events Page at www.legalwritepublications.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contracts Companion Named Finalist in ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards!

Contracts Companion for Writers has been selected by ForeWord Magazine as a 2007 Book of the Year Finalist in the Reference category.

Nearly 1,600 books were entered in 61 categories. These were narrowed to 658 finalists, from 350 publishers. Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners, as well as Editor's Choice Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction will be announced at a special program at BookExpo America at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles on May 30. The winners of the two Editor's Choice Prizes will be awarded $1,500 each.

Wish us luck!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lit Law Advice from Tonya Evans-Walls
The Dreaded Fear of Negotiation

The most common fear authors have when faced with a deal is the dreaded fear of negotiation. In the spirit of not wanting to offend, many authors in first-time bargaining situations shy away from asking hard questions and requesting more favorable provisions.

Worse still, some authors are intimidated by the process and the documents. That, coupled with an author's excitement over the possibility of any deal, after receiving so many rejections, is a dangerous mix that often spells trouble.

Authors do not want to challenge the agent or publisher because they do not want to be perceived as difficult or money hungry. But remember, this is a bottom-line business, and the operative word is "business." Agents and publishers have their own attorneys, and so should you. Any reputable person in the industry understands that offers should be negotiated by competent professionals; it's just business.

Exceprt from Contracts Companion for Writers

Have a great week and be sure to visit us on the web at our site and on MySpace.

Write on!

Tonya M. Evans-WallsLegal Write Publications

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCLUSIVE 20% DISCOUNT @ www.legalwritepublications.com


Use the discount code "0531PROMO" and enjoy a 20% discount off all on-line purchases of $15.00 or more. Act now so you don't miss this amazing opportunity! Order today and don't forget to use this exclusive discount code to save! You can use this code as many times as you want before the expiration date so share it with a friend! Order now at http://www.legalwritepublications.com/books.htm#top

Offer Expires: May 31, 2008


Legal Write Publications PO Box 25216 Philadelphia PA 19119

Friday, November 30, 2007

Copyright in the Digital Age

Excerpt from Chapter 4 of Copyright Companion for Writers by Tonya M. Evans-Walls titled "Copyright in the Digital Age" To order visit: literarylawguide.com or your favorite bookseller.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copyright 2007 Tonya M. Evans-Walls (). Limited license granted to copy and distribute this post provided such copying and distributing is of the entire post, including author's copyright and contact information. All other rights reserved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DISCLAIMER: The author is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services as a result of the information contained in this article, nor is this article meant to constitute legal or other professional advice. If legal or other professional assistance is required, the services of an attorney should be sought to discuss your individual needs since all legal issues are fact-specific.

=====================================================
In chapters 2 and 3 [of Copyright Companion for Writers], I covered the basics of how copyright comes into existence, what a copyright owner has the right to do, and why and how to register your copyright. This chapter explores both the benefits and the challenges of digital technology as it relates to copyright formation and protection.

There is no doubt that new technology has had a substantial impact on the trade publishing industry. The changes brought about by technology are exciting and inspiring, but also troubling and challenging. A whole new world—the World Wide Web—offers unprecedented access to information, peers, and consumers. Continual accessibility to information and cut-and-paste technology have led to protection problems and widespread "sharing" and "use," which in turn have led to widespread infringement of perfect digital copies.

This phenomenon has led to a generational shift in the appreciation of copyright and infringement, and a fundamental misperception that "if it's accessible on the Internet, it's free." And it's not just a sense that information on the Web is free: people who have that belief also believe they are somehow entitled to use the information. So as advances in technology challenge the effectiveness of existing copyright laws, the balance between an author's rights to control work and the public's right to benefit from creativity becomes more tenuous.
=====================================================


For more information and to purchase a copy of Copyright Companion for Writers or any other book or e-book in the Literary Entrepreneur Series--, visit www.legalwritepublications.com


Labels:

Sunday, November 04, 2007

"They like me ... they really like me!"


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2007

CONTACT: Legal Write Publications at

Tonya Evans-Walls named Award-Winner in the Business: Law/Reference category of the USABookNews National Best Books 2007 Awards!

It is with great pleasure that I announce Copyright Companion for Writers was selected as a "Winner" in the "Business: Law/Reference" category of the esteemed USABookNews.com's National Best Book Awards of 2007.

Copyright Companion for Writers is a comprehensive, understandable layperson's guide that discusses how copyright is created and the benefits of copyright registration, why the "mail your manuscript to yourself" theory of protecting one's copyright (a/k/a the Poor Man's Copyright) is a MYTH!, the difference between fair use and public domain, what infringement is and how to avoid it or assert your own claim, how to obtain permissions to use copyrighted works in one's own work -- like song lyrics, pictures, and quotes, how to protect copyright in the digital age, and what writers need to know about copyright protection in other countries.

For more information about this and other legal reference guides for writers and other creative folks, visit our website at: http://www.legalwritepublications.com/

A complete list of winners and finalists in each category can be found at: http://www.usabooknews.com/bestbooksawards2007.html

###

Friday, October 19, 2007

When and Why You Should "Get it in Writing"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copyright 2007 Tonya M. Evans-Walls (). Limited license granted to copy and distribute this post provided such copying and distributing is of the entire post, including author's copyright and contact information.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DISCLAIMER: The author is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services as a result of the information contained in this article, nor is this article meant to constitute legal or other professional advice. If legal or other professional assistance is required, the services of an attorney should be sought to discuss your individual needs since all legal issues are fact-specific.
[An excerpt from chapter 1 "Get It In Writing" of Contracts Companion for Writers, by Tonya M. Evans-Walls (Legal Write Publications 2007). To order visit literarylawguide.com or your favorite bookseller.]

From the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep, our days are filled with negotiations and agreements—with family (especially kids!), friends, co-workers, employers and employees, salespeople, and even (or particularly) our adversaries. No relationship, whether personal or professional, is immune from this certainty. From politics to pee wee football, our country and, indeed, our world turn on negotiating rights and responsibilities of various parties for innumerable purposes.

We participate in the give-and-take of negotiations basically to get what we want. But negotiations are rarely a zero sum game so, in the famous words of the Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want." Therefore, two goals exist in making contracts with others: to maximize what we receive from others and to minimize what we have to give up or do in return. And this reality is certainly present in the world of writing and publishing. But, as you will learn in chapter 2, not all agreements are legally enforceable contracts.

I am often asked (by people who obviously do not watch People's Court) whether it is necessary to write down every agreement and sign on the dotted line. The simple answer (which you rarely hear from a lawyer) is no, or at least not necessarily. As you will learn in this book, you need not reduce an agreement to a writing signed by the parties for a legally binding contract to exist, except for agreements required by law to be in writing, like the purchase or sale of real estate or a long-term lease. As long as a verbal agreement contains both the essential and the material elements of a contract (offer, acceptance, consideration, intent to contract, legal capacity to contract, and a legal object of contract, as discussed more fully in chapter 2), that verbal agreement will constitute a binding and legally enforceable agreement, also known as a contract.

Essentially, the term "contract" means a legally enforceable agreement between two competent parties. "Competent" means the contracting parties must be of age and in their right minds. And each party agrees to exchange something of value, like money, for goods or services, for example. Of course, with oral contracts, the hard part is proving the terms if something does not go as planned or if someone fails to perform as expected.

So to be prudent, particularly regarding important agreements you would want to enforce in court or through some other legal proceeding if the other party failed to live up to her end of the bargain, it is best to put your business arrangements in writing because a well-written writing signed by all parties can serve as a clear record of the agreed-upon terms and conditions, and can help to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications. The absence of a clearly written agreement beforehand is the stuff that protracted litigation, ruined relationships, and whopper legal fees are made of. And it is always amazing how fuzzy someone's memory can be when a deal goes badly and a misunderstanding develops or someone believes she didn't get what she bargained for. This is especially true when the deal involves valuable and unique literary or artistic works and services.

Even if you do not have a formal writing replete with fancy legalese, at a minimum you should send a confirmatory e-mail or letter stating your understanding of the agreement. This will at least memorialize your understanding of your and the other party's rights and responsibilities, and give the other party an opportunity to respond and to clarify potential issues up front, if there is a difference of opinion.
For more information visit literarylawguide.com

Friday, September 14, 2007

Legal Matters that Matter to Creative Folks

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copyright 2007 Tonya M. Evans-Walls (). Limited license granted to copy and distribute this post provided such copying and distributing is of the entire post, including author's copyright and contact information.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
**Remember, this information is for educational purposes
and should never replace competent legal advice from your legal representative.**

We creative people are notorious for getting caught up in the process of creating, often at the expense of fully comprehending and appreciating the business side of our creativity. Because of our absorption in the creative process, little attention is given to the potential legalities we creative folks face before, during, and after the creative process.

But did you ever stop to consider the legal implications, rights, and obligations that may exist because of what you created? For example, have you ever …
  • guarded your manuscript, lyrics, photos or paintings, forbidding anyone to see them for fear that they might steal your brilliant ideas?
  • mailed your creative work to yourself, believing your copyright interests were somehow protected?
  • been confused about the difference between a copyright, trademark and patent?
  • pieced together a contract from contracts you found by searching the Internet? Or (worse yet) cut and pasted information (words, images or sounds) from the web and used it in your own work thinking it is “fair use”?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may be in danger of jeopardizing your rights or infringing the rights of others. So read on. But one word of caution. This article is for informational purposes only. Do not use it in place of legal counsel by an experienced intellectual property lawyer. Get the facts from an expert. And FYI, your friend who watches a lot of Law & Order episodes doesn’t count!

Clearing Up the Confusion about Copyright


A copyright protects an author’s original artistic or literary work, whether published or unpublished. Under copyright law, the term “author” has a special meaning: the creator of an original literary or artistic work. Thus, the word “author” includes not only writers but photographers, singers, painters, sculptors – anyone who creates a literary or artistic work.

A Little Legalese Q&A


What can and cannot be copyrighted? Generally, copyright protects all original writing and artistic creations: letters, e-mail, poetry, manuscripts, songs, photographs, CDs, recordings of written works, musical scores, movies, sculptures, artwork, and even architecture. Book and song titles cannot be copyrighted. Ideas cannot be copyrighted.


What do you have to do to copyright your work? If you have created an original work in some tangible form – in writing or on film or tape or canvas, for example – then you don’t have to do anything. You automatically own the copyright. But you should register it with the Copyright Office for further protection.

Can you use a picture you took of someone else in any way you choose? Although the photographer usually owns the copyright in the picture, the person captured in the picture may hold a competing interest: the right of publicity. This right, governed by state law, gives a person (usually a celebrity or public figure) the exclusive right to use his or her name, likeness, or other aspect of his or her persona for profit, and the right to prevent others from using those aspects without authorization. Similarly, the photographer may even be prohibited from making and distributing copies of a picture that captures a painting, sculpture, or other work of art if that work is otherwise protected by copyright.

Welcome to a glimpse of the complex universe of legal matters that matter to creative folks. Perfecting your craft is important indeed. Understanding the legal side of creativity is imperative. Honor yourself, your work and the rights of others by asking the right questions and getting the right answers. Don’t leave your rights to chance. Empower yourself with information and take your creativity to the next level.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Players involved in selling your rights



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copyright 2007 Tonya M. Evans-Walls (). Limited license granted to copy and distribute this post provided such copying and distributing is of the entire post, including author's copyright and contact information.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



DISCLAIMER: The author is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services as a result of the information contained in this article, nor is this article meant to constitute legal or other professional advice. If legal or other professional assistance is required, the services of an attorney should be sought to discuss your individual needs since all legal issues are fact-specific.






[An excerpt from chapter 7 "The Players and the Process" of Contracts Companion for Writers, by Tonya M. Evans-Walls (Legal Write Publications 2007). To order visit https://literarylawguide.com/ or your favorite bookseller.]





The process of literary property acquisitions involves a number of professionals. This chapter identifies and explains the roles of the various parties and describes the acquisitions process itself.

The Agent

It is common to hear writers lament, regardless of their level within the industry, that it is more difficult to land an agent than it is to find a publisher willing to publish their books. There is some truth to this. Although writers do not need agents in all situations, they do need an agent when a publisher reviews manuscripts by invitation only or accepts manuscripts only from a literary agent or lawyer. So sending unagented, unsolicited manuscripts to publishers is pure folly in most cases. It's folly because publishers seek to communicate only with professionals they have relationships with, those who know the business and have demonstrated they can present literary properties with potential financial viability.

Great agents and agencies are in high demand because they have demonstrated success in providing the critical service in the literary representation process—access to decision makers—and parlaying that access into actual placement, also known as the sale. If you are in search of an agent, word of mouth and referrals are tried-and-true methods of landing the right one. Also, review the acknowledgement pages of books like yours or consult trade publications like the Writer's Digest. Another option is to check out books like Writer's Market and Literary Marketplace, and Web sites like http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/.

But as with most things, one size does not fit all in the world of literary agencies. So finding the right agent is key. That does not necessarily mean the most prestigious one or the one with an office near you. It means you must identify agents who specialize in your particular genre of writing.

A good literary agent generally does the following:

  • Enters into a written agreement with the writer.
  • Acts primarily as an intermediary between writer and editor to identify the writer's genre and target market and to query or submit the manuscript to a list of publishing houses that cater to that particular genre and market.
  • Constantly cultivates relationships within the industry to increase potential opportunities for her clients.
  • Knows and successfully negotiates the basic deal points.
  • Receives a writer's compensation, deducts his or her commission, and then pays the writer in a timely fashion.
  • Provides editorial guidance and light editing for the writer during the writing process.
  • Keeps the writer reasonably informed of submissions and responses.

    A good literary agent generally does not do the following:
  • Charge a fee up front (i.e., a reading fee). An agent's compensation comes in the form of a commission (usually 10 to 20 percent) if and when she sells a property. This caveat does not include extraordinary expenses (e.g., Fed Ex vs. regular USPS postage, travel, and the like). But these costs should be reasonable and documented; and after a certain dollar amount they should be preapproved by the writer. You should also consider a cap on costs, above which the agent must get authorization to incur charges.
  • Name-drop clients and recent sales unless already public knowledge or with the consent of the clients.
  • Offer his or her own fee-based editorial services or strongly recommend one editorial company in particular.
Because of the importance of the literary agent and the challenge in finding just the right fit, you will likely have to submit query letters to a number of agents before landing one willing to take you on.

The Literary Lawyer

A literary lawyer can serve as an agent to sell literary properties, as noted above. Another role of the literary lawyer is more limited, but often very valuable—that of a professional independent party to review the contract and advise the writer about the terms of the deal. In this capacity, the literary lawyer identifies what additional terms, if any, should be included and what terms should be revised or deleted. This role is complementary to the agent's role in "getting" the deal or is the key negotiation role when an author does not have an agent (e.g., in a sale to an independent publishing house). The value of a literary lawyer to a writer is that the writer receives an independent legal opinion from someone knowledgeable about publishing contracts (not all agents are lawyers); someone who, in most cases, is working for an hourly rate rather than for a percentage or commission and therefore, in theory, is not biased by the hopes of a piece of the deal or the author's career. Further, some agents (consciously or subconsciously) do not want to upset their existing relationships within the industry and therefore do not push for every last deal point that might benefit a writer.

Literary lawyers can also vet manuscripts for potential legal issues; assist in securing permissions or registering, licensing, and reclaiming your intellectual property rights; and prepare and negotiate other legal agreements you may enter into as a result of your manuscript, such as a licensing or collaboration agreement.

Lastly, literary lawyers can represent publishers and draft and negotiate a company's standard contract with authors.

A good literary lawyer generally does the following:

  • Reviews contracts and advises the writer on the terms.
  • Negotiates additional terms with the publisher, if appropriate.
  • Works actively with the existing professionals (agent, publicist, editor, contracts department) to understand the status of the deal, explain the terms and status to you, and add to rather than detract from the process.
  • Stays on top of current trends and deals in the industry.
  • Vigorously negotiates on behalf of the writer.
  • Maintains the ethical duties to the client of confidentiality and loyalty, thus at all times putting the best interests of the client ahead of his or her own.
  • Assists the writer in acquiring any necessary permissions to use third-party copyrighted materials and releases from interviewees and the like.
  • Drafts publishing, agency, collaboration, work-made-for-hire, options, licenses, and other contracts within the industry.
  • Vets manuscripts for potential legal issues and advises clients about how to avoid or minimize potential liability.

    A good literary lawyer generally does not do the following:
  • Steal a deal away from an agent who placed the work.
  • Blur the line between lawyer and agent. As noted above, all lawyers owe a professional duty of loyalty and confidentiality to the client, but an agent has only a fiduciary and contractual relationship with the client. Of course, ethical cannons may forbid a lawyer from participating financially in the outcome of a client's legal matter or at least substantially regulate a lawyer who has a fiduciary relationship with, and financial interest in, a client.


Editor

There are several types of editors in the publishing industry. For purposes of this discussion, "editor" refers to a decision maker employed by a publishing company to seek, review, and purchase manuscripts (or authors to create manuscripts) on behalf of the publisher. This process is known as acquisitions. The acquisitions editor (AE) may also facilitate the final editing process, and oversee the layout, design, production, and marketing of the book.

The AE relies on queries, proposals, and existing relationships with writers, agents, and others within the industry to learn about new properties and story ideas that might match the publisher's various book programs.

Once the AE identifies a potential purchase, he or she reviews the manuscript, evaluates the author's writing abilities, identifies the potential market and market penetration, and considers an appropriate publication schedule. The AE also pitches the manuscript internally to some or all of the editorial, marketing, sales, and upper management personnel within the company to evaluate the financial and overall merits of acquiring the manuscript. Finally, the AE is responsible for negotiating the contractual terms of the publishing agreement with the author or author's representative and overseeing the publication process (sometimes at the macro level and sometimes at the hands-on level of a development or production editor).

A good acquisitions editor generally does the following:



  • Maintains a broad range of relationships with authors, author representatives, and industry professionals.
  • Plans the best possible market penetration for the book.
  • Knows his or her company's publishing needs and schedule.
  • Knows the company's standard contract terms.
  • Facilitates a smooth, orderly, and efficient contract negotiation.
  • Understands all aspects of the prepress, marketing, and publication processes.
  • Facilitates the polishing of the manuscript and provides support to the author.
A good acquisitions editor generally does not do the following:



  • Fail to give the author a workable publication schedule.
  • Promise terms that are conveniently left out of the term sheet or contract.
  • Discourage an author from consulting with an agent or lawyer.
  • Fail to keep the author informed of changes to the manuscript or publication schedule and process.


________________________
Contracts Companion for Writers





Table of Contents
1 Get It in Writing
2 Contracts Basics
3 When a Good Deal Goes Bad
4 Transferring Your Rights and Getting Them Back
5 What Freelancers Need to Know
6 CYA: Media Perils Insurance
7 The Players and the Process
8 The Collaboration Agreement
9 The Work-Made-for-Hire Agreement
10 The Agency Agreement
11 The Publishing Agreement
12 Songwriting and Publishing Agreements
13 The Licensing Agreement
14 Permissions and Releases
Appendix A Resources
Appendix B Forms
Glossary
Index

Order an autographed copy at https://literarylawguide.com/ or order copies at your favorite bookseller.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Postcards from the Edge ... of BEA #4 - Final Edition

Greetings!

As much as I love travelling, there's NOTHING like returning to the comfort of the familiar - my own home. My living room, deck, garden, fully stocked fridge, firm pillows and a high-end mattress, since unfortunately my back often reminds me that I am the person on which the Princess and the Pea character was based. I did, however, truly enjoy my time in New York during PMA University and BookExpo!

This blog post is a catch up and recap of all the wonderful things that transpired during the Big Show on Saturday and Sunday and all of the friends and colleagues -- both old and new -- with whom I connected over the past week. I don’t want to start naming names because I will definitely leave someone out. But I particularly enjoyed connecting with all of you from my list this past weekend.

Saturday was jam packed with drama and show floor activity. First, our shuttle woes continued with a well-meaning but terribly misinformed driver. It seems he received word -- perhaps from outer space -- that although he’d arrived at the Park Central Hotel at 7:50 AM, he was not to leave for Javits until 8:30 AM. Wrong. And for those of us who got up before dawn to make an early shuttle, this reality did not go over well. The shuttle is actually scheduled to run every 10-15 minutes. But none of us on the bus could convince him of this. Only the person whose name appears on his checks could have convinced him -- even if his next check would certainly be his last! Now, I do not like to mess with anyone's income so it is not like I wanted the guy to be fired. But that rule about not messing with income certainly includes my own bottom line! And each year we spend thousands of dollars to attend BEA – this year was no exception. So I planned to get my money's worth and arrive at my booth bright-eyed and bushy tailed from the open to the close of the show and then some!

So, I called the shuttle hot line and gave whoever answered an ear full to make sure they knew things were not going as planned. Meanwhile, two shuttles came and went as we sat on our bus feeling a little helpless. Then my husband, the spiritual anchor of our family, began to sing "Oh Happy Day." I thought either he'd taken leave of his senses or he was singing because we'd watched Sister Act II the night before and he couldn’t get enough. But actually, while I was arguing my point to the dispatcher on my cell phone (as lawyers tend to do), Russel was consulting a higher power by breaking out into pure praise. Don't ask me how it works but it does. And the next thing I knew, a third bus came and, in the grand tradition of pure mutiny, we got off our bus and ran to the other one. Our saving grace. That bus passed every bus we'd seen go by without even seeming to rush and within 10 minutes we were at the show site and no worse for the wear.

Good thing we arrived when we did because, as in past years, Saturday proved to be the busiest day of the show. From the moment the show floor opened to credentialed industry visitors, traffic was heavy in the aisles on both floors. And the energy was really good. No cold shoulders this show.

My first book signing time in the Traditional Autographing Area at 2:00 PM arrived before I knew it. My husband escorted me to the green room like he was six figure Hollywood security and soon we were just behind the curtain waiting for the OK to take the proverbial stage. And as I pushed past the curtain I beamed with pride to see so many people waiting for a copy of Copyright Companion for Writers, one of two books released this year. And although there were many high points and wonderful connections, the pinnacle was meeting and signing a book for LaChanze, tony award-winning star of the original cast of The Color Purple.

Other high notes include connections with various industry professionals for speaking engagements and sales and the amazingly warm reception received from those familiar with my work, including one man who brought into the show his very own tattered copy of Literary Law Guide for Authors: Copyright, Trademark and Contracts in Plain Language for me to sign Saturday afternoon.

That evening, our return to the hotel was uneventful and dinner on the town was an added treat. Thank goodness for business deductions because NYC is not giving anything away! But a fine meal, good conversation and sufficient time to unwind are all priceless at BEA.

Sunday was slower but still extremely fruitful for us, despite the temperamental air conditioning. Many people returned to our booth for copies of our books or to discuss their literary law or speaking needs. Some of the best contacts were made with libraries, conference organizers and the American Bar Association.

So we are very excited about the rest of 2007 and beyond. The word is getting out and it’s all about momentum and all thanks to YOU. Help us to continue spreading the word by posting reviews at Amazon.com and sharing my information with your family and friends. If you missed us at BEA or just want more information or to order my titles, you can visit www.legalwritepublications.com.

To sum it all up, so glad we did BEA smarter and not harder this year. We worked hard and played hard (Broadway shows, fine dining and WBNA games!). And now it is time to turn in and prepare for what tomorrow brings. I suspect it’s all the happiness my heart can hold. In fact, I claim it and wish the same for you!

Write on,

Tonya

Mia Culpa ... Postcard post script

Greetings from BEA!

Ok, so it's officially 12:49 AM EDT. My plan goal was to post my "Postcards from the Edge ... of BEA" blog on a daily basis. But for the anal folks on the list, technically I've fallen short. The sun's not up yet, thankfully but Saturday is officially over .... Wait, it's still Saturday on the west coast. So, I object to that first statement. Sustained. High paid lawyers can do that, you know. Well, then that settles it. I'm on time and have honored my commitment. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I have soooo much to tell you about Saturday, which is why I'm burning the midnight oil tonight. Unfortunately, I'll have to turn in now so I can be at my best for the BEA finale tomorrow. But check out my new pics for a hint about some of the amazing people I met today and be sure to check the the blog tomorrow night for the 4-1-1 about Saturday and what I am confident will be a fantastic end to a phenomenal show for Legal Write Publications. FYI, the day was busy, blessed, productive and filled with wonderful surprises. You never know what you'll learn and who you'll meet at BEA!

Until tomorrow ...ciao,

Tonya