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Writing Books/Book Legality Question

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Hi,
I'm getting ready to start a book about a whole bunch of experiences i've had with clients...I'm a personal trainer and I've got some interesting stories about their drive and determination etc. so, nothing too juicy etc....I'm wondering if as long as I don't use names, places etc. if I'm in the clear as far as infringing on anyone's privacy and so forth. If there's something i should be doing like getting them to sign off etc...please let me know.
thx.

Answer
Hy, Byron!

Sorry for the delay in answering, but apparently I didn't get the question the first time. Yes, there could be problems with infringing, so you definitely want to get releases wherever you can. This is really a question you're going to need to pose to an attorney that deals with publishing. That area of practice is called intellectual property law, or entertainment law (two halves of the whole of publishing). If you can afford an attorney, you can find one in your area by visiting the Martindale-Hubbell law directory, which is an online database of pretty much every attorney in the country (as well as several other countries.) It's not like a lot of the doctors or dentists sites where the people have to pay money to be there. It's ALL attorneys, and they're rated by their peers for quality and knowledge. You can search either by area of practice or geographic location. Here's a link:

http://www.martindale.com

If you can't afford an attorney, there are a lot of attorneys who volunteer their time to help out authors and artists with just this sort of question.  You can visit this link to see if there's someone in your area to help out, or you can Google "volunteer attorneys & arts & [insert your state name]" and you'll probably come up with something. But the Starving Artists site is really good about keeping up to date with resources.

http://www.starvingartistslaw.com/help/volunteer%20lawyers.htm

Hope that helps, and good luck with your book! :)

Cathy

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Cathy Clamp

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.

Experience

I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Organizations
Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Publications
Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

Education/Credentials
My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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