Writers, do you police your byline?
I was looking up various topics at the Library of Congress where you can rove through the electronic resources. As usual, I also searched my byline in WorldCat. What did I find but a 2008 edition of my non-fiction book “Travel Writing – See the World, Sell the Story: published by F+W Publications.
It was a Japanese version! An earlier edition of the book had been published in Italian some years ago, and in Chinese more than a decade ago. The Japanese text was news to me.
Naturally, I sent a flash-mail to the contract and royalties manager at my book’s publisher. My mind raced. Was it an oversight, I asked myself? A case of stiff-the-writer? Copyright infringement?
Not at all. It turned out that I had not noticed on the semi-annual royalty statement that the Japanese foreign language publication rights had been sold. If you are wondering why I didn’t notice, foreign language rights for a non-fiction trade text don’t yield much of a payment to the author.
My next step was to ensure that I would receive the 6 free copies of all foreign language editions of my work, as established in the original contract.
So, don’t forget to check your byline regularly in many databases. The easiest way to get started is to put your byline in the Google search field and examine the returns carefully.
Details on the Japanese version:
旅行ライター入門講座 : わが国初の本格的トラベルライティングの教科書旅行ライターとして旅立ちたいあなたへ /
Ryokō raitā nyūmon kōza :
wagakuni hatsu no honkakuteki toraberu raitingu no kyōkasho ryokō raitā to shite tabidachitai anata e /
ピート・オニール. 池田豊信. 福本直美.
L Peat O’Neil; Toyonobu Ikeda; Naomi Fukumoto
2008 Japanese Book Internet Resource 360p.; 21 cm.
Tokyo:Baperupuresu,; ISBN: 9784894490819 4894490811