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Helen Sedwick

Author  |  California  

Writer and lawyer Helen Sedwick uses 30 years of legal experience to show writers how to stay out of court and at their desks. Publisher’s Weekly lists her Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook as one of the top five resource books for independent authors. And ForeWord Review gave it Five Stars, calling it “one of the most valuable resources a self-publisher can own…well-written and authoritative yet unhampered by legalese.” Her blog coaches writers on everything from protecting copyrights to hiring freelancers to spotting scams. For more information about Helen and her work, check out her website at

Sales Tax Basics for Indie Authors

In her last post, Carla King advised writers how to avoid paying sales tax twice...
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Understand Right of Publicity If You Write About Real People

It is wise to understand what the right of publicity means when writing about real people....
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Avoiding Defamation & Libel When Using Real People in Your Writing

Every writer, whether tackling fiction or nonfiction, uses real people. Whether our main character shares...
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Using Public Domain Works in Literary Mashups

In 2009, Seth Grahame-Smith’s released his mashup novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. He transported...
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Digital Piracy & Illegal Downloads: Author Options

Sooner or later, every author suffers that dreadful experience of finding websites offering free illegal...
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5 Legal Myths That Writers Still Fall For, Debunked

There are certain persistent legal myths that refuse to die. For instance, every few weeks...
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Hiring Freelancers: the Legal Nitty-Gritty

Unless you are amazingly talented or have a collection of generous and gifted friends, you...
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How to Use Lyrics in Your Writing Without Risk

Writers love to use lyrics to communicate setting and character. After all, a Sinatra ballad...
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Using Gucci and Other Trademarks in Your Writing

Many writers use trademarks as a shorthand for revealing a character’s status, tastes, and vanities....
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Estate Planning Tips for Authors

It's unlikely that you'll be thinking about estate planning as you launch your literary creations...
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Co-Authors: Before You Tie the Knot…

Wouldn’t it be fun to write a book with your best friend? Or better yet,...
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Author LLC: When Should Writers Incorporate?

If you mention you are going to self-publish, your brother-in-law, neighbor, or some other busy-body...
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Copyright Infringement: Those Cute Kitten Pix May Cost You

Suppose you find the cutest kitten photo online. Without giving it much thought, you cut...
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Self-Publishing Companies, Through a Legal Lens

In my last post, Five Legal Terms Every Author Should Know, I explained that the...
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5 Legal Terms Every Author Should Know

What is the worst mistake an indie author can make? A bad book cover? A...
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