“It” had represented thirteen months of revision, redesign, and recalculation. “It” is the second edition of The Culinary Reference Guide, a resource for professional chefs and culinary students to quickly access the need-to-know information of the culinary arts. Finally the day came for the long awaited answer from the expected publisher; they had chosen to pass on my work and instead offered me another project they were interested in developing. The news was disheartening, but it was now time for plan B: self-publish.
Many authors are rejected for a multitude of reasons. Publishing your own work is an alternative route on the path to protect your intellectual capital and property. Capital can be defined as your initial investment. Property can be defined as your claim to the capital investment. This article will identify the process in which you, as a publisher of your work, may protect your intellectual capital, and how that capital may become your intellectual property. If you are rejected and are willing to take a chance on and invest in your vision, then the margin of profit may be rewarding.
Your original thoughts, presented in some media form, are valuable and marketable. The difference between getting published and publishing may simply be a matter of the publisher’s preference. You, as your own publisher must stay true to a conviction of spirit. Once you have made the choice to publish your own work there are several steps to initiate. The first step is the editorial process. The process is without a doubt the most labor intensive aspect of publishing, after your original manuscript is complete. The process may take months or even years, depending upon the editorial path that you chose. There is a plethora of fee-based services available on the Internet. These services are great for sentence and grammatical construct correction. You may want to ask yourself some questions before contracting with this service: do they really know you, your writing style, or the intended target audience? Another editorial path is to select capable, objective colleagues who know you and what you are trying to convey, because their opinions and expertise can transform your work to a higher level. In my own experience this process, working with a professional editor, totally transformed the quality level of my book.
Once your editorial work is complete, the second step involves filing for copyright protection by contacting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency. The agency is a part of the Department of Homeland Security. The agency deals with the IPRR, Intellectual Property Rights E, or electronic Registration. The IPRR administers the application process, which can be completed in three business days, using the on-line convention. Once you have completed this step, your work, is copyright protected.
The third step is to select an agent for printing, you, the publisher will need to analyze the scope of your desired capacity and the degree of autonomy to operate within. Printers run the gamut, from boutique vanity presses, printing less than a dozen copies, to full service agencies that provide printing, marketing and distribution. Whatever you decide remember, as the customer, caveat emptor- let the buyer beware. You will make all the decisions, and your profit margin percentage is based upon those choices.
The final steps are the most important in protecting your intellectual capital, securing an ISBN, International Standard Book Numbering, followed by a registration with the Library of Congress. The ISBN is a reference number used by printers, retailers, and publishers to identify and market various forms of intellectual capital, like books, music recordings, and movies. The ISBN can be purchased from R.R. Bowker, the U.S. service provider, who sells publishers blocks of ISBN numbers, sold in ten units per block, as a minimum. The ISBN numbers are then registered to the publisher or authors’ name as a reference for future works and editions. The protection, that securing an ISBN provides, is for the authenticity of work. By purchasing and utilizing the numbers on your various works, you have provided an additional layer of protection in case of litigation concerning originality. One of the factors involved in establishing the authenticity of work is the initiative and investment made by the owner to protect it.
The final step is to establish the intellectual capital as your personal property. Copyright protection, provides the thickest armor against infringement. The step is to submit your work to the Library of Congress. When contacting the Library of Congress and completing the initial application process for an issued control number, called a LCCN, a pre-assigned Control Number or PCN will first be issued. The PCN will identify your work, for copyright resource as “cataloging in publication” and will be listed on Library of Congress database. Once the initial printing is complete the Library of Congress mandates that the publisher submit a copy for exclusory of copyright, defined as your exclusive right to allow permission for replication.
The process of copyrighting your work is prescriptive and rather simple to follow. The completion of the process is the primary evidence that courts will use in determining the authenticity of your work. The following links, in lieu of academic citation protocol, may be of assistance once you have determined that self-publishing is the most advantageous method for securing your intellectual capital.
Intellectual Property Rights E or electronic Registration may be found at
To Purchase an ISBN number for your work, please contact
U.S ISBN Agency – R.R. Bowker
630 Central Avenue
New Providence, NJ 07974
When you are ready to state you intellectual capital property claim contact the
Library of Congress- Cataloging in Publication Division http://pcn.loc.gov/