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Topic: Format and Permissions Help

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Subject: Format and Permissions Help
Date Posted: 5/23/2014 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2013
Posts: 1,604
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I have finally begun my book on unexpected (to us) friendship and how God plays a role in the friends and good people who touch our lives. I do have some formatting/permission questions that I would greatly appreciate help with. I am using Word 2010. Does anyone know if this offers any book templates? I have been thinking it might be cool to format the stories in a scrap book/photo album style. More square pages and then a photo or related image included either at the end or to the right of the text if the story is short. I have no clue how to do that. I think it might help me to move the book along if I could "see" how it might look in print. Also would be helpful in terms of figuring out chapters/and or number of stories.

Two permissions questions. I am a big fan of the TV show Touched by an Angel. I will be mentioning it throughout the book and possibly making references to a few episodes. I would also love to end the book with the first few lines of this show's theme song that is sung by Della Reese. Would I need either Della's or Martha Williamson (she was one of the song's copyright people and also produced the show) permission for this? I would, of course, make certain to acknowledge their work and also of the other actors. I don't suppose anyone knows where I could find contact info for Martha? I've Googled and am not finding anything. I don't use social media so would need to either email (ideally) or snail mail her.

 Google question. I found this http://www.hyglossproducts.com/v/vspfiles/photos/33626-3.jpg I have some of these Mrs. Grossman stickers: https://www.etsy.com/listing/168039100/mrs-grossmans-vintage-heart-sticker?utm_source=google&utm_medium=product_listing_promoted&utm_campaign=vintage_low&gclid=CPTii8q1w74CFZKCfgodiYUATA I had the idea of having them run through the bottom of the pages of my book like a foot path. Do you think I'd need to contact Mrs. Grossman for that or lol draw my own mini hearts?

Thank you so much. Enjoy the weekend!

Date Posted: 6/3/2014 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Yes you will need to get permission to use things from a tv show as well as acknowledge where they came from.   It's much better to seek permission, then get caught out if they ask you to stop. If it was only one quote or just a small reference to the show then you'd not need it but using the song lyrics you'd need permission.

http://www.harrywalker.com/speaker/Della-Reese.cfm?Spea_ID=683   Della's agent, thats who you need to contact. Just explain what you are doing and that you want written permission. They might want to see your book before giving it out.

As for using the stickers, um no, very much doubt they'd do that or they might for a large sum. They are copyrighted and you need to draw your own or find someone who will allow you to use that graphic.

As for Word, why not just set up the page format to the size you want it.  I think the Publisher program is the only one with those type of templates you were asking for. There might be an online webpage that allows you to do this.  Seems to allow you to view things as a book without having to pay for it. http://www.blurb.com/bookmaking-tools

Date Posted: 6/5/2014 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2013
Posts: 1,604
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Thank you, Xengab. I apologize for not seeing your reply until now. I appreciate your help very much and on Word. I will look into that. :)

Date Posted: 6/19/2014 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 151
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I replied to your PM, but I thought I'd put it here too just for the sake of the thread

Xengab pretty much hit all the points. Formatting is something that your publisher would take care of. The format varies greatly based on the height, width, and length of the book as well as font size. So, it's not something you as the author can predict before publication. The only time you would need to do it yourself would be if you were self publishing. And most self-publish sites have software to make that easy for you.

As far as permissions, you would need permission to use any lyrics from the Touched by an Angel theme song, and even if you get permission, they might not let you use it for free. References to the show should be okay as long as they are brief and just references. If you go too in depth, and say, use quotes from the show, you'd be in danger of copyright infringement. This might be something an editor could help you with, but if they feel you are blatantly copying the show, they won't even consider your story upon submission. 

The stickers, you would have to contact Mrs. Grossman to get permission to use, and again, she might ask that you pay a fee for them. This would not be the same as buying the stickers off of Etsy. There, you're simply buying the product - you don't own the rights to it. You'd need to pay what is called a "royalty fee" to gain the rights to use the stickers in your own work (same goes for the TV show's theme song, again assuming you wouldn't be able to use it for free). Since it's just mini hearts, you'd be further ahead drawing this yourself or your publisher might have something they already have the rights to and could use. Although, they'll probably open an a discussion about why you want these hearts along the edge of your book and if they are really necessarily (it's not something commonly done).

Date Posted: 6/19/2014 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 151
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Something that might help you is poking around the NaNoWriMo Forums. There's all sorts of resources for writers there. It's always good to take a look around. http://nanowrimo.org/forums

For your particular question, I'd check out the Writing 101 forum: http://nanowrimo.org/forums/writing-101

And this particular thread regarding trade marks and permissions: http://nanowrimo.org/forums/writing-101/threads/138999

Subject: Book Templates
Date Posted: 12/6/2014 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2014
Posts: 8
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Sign up for Createspace on Amazon.com.  You can download their template if you publish there.  There's not much to it, the format,

it's kind of generic but it does streamline things for a first-timer.