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Writing Books/legal issues in writing a book


Hello. I am planning to write an autobiography/memoir. In my book, I will mention several people, but I will be changing their names. I am planning on writing under a pen name. Does that safeguard me from lawsuits? What happens if I never reveal who I really am, but someone finds out that the pen name is mine, will I still be safeguarded for lawsuits?

Should I change some of the locations that I will write in my book? What kind of attorney do I need to hire that deals with publishing a book?

My book will not be a tell all book or an expose on anything. But it may shed a negative as well as positive light on some people.

Thank you.

Since you are doing the right safeguards by changing the names of the people/characters and using a pen name, it would also be wise to change the location as well.

You can insert a foreword that the story is true but names and location have been changed, etc.

As far as an attorney for your rights for publishing, once a publisher has accepted your book and wants to enter a publishing contract, you take the proposed publishing contract to a literary attorney specializing in book publishing for authors. He or she will help you negotiate the best contract that is right for you; i.e. copyrights, movie rights, over seas publishing rights, percentage of sales rights; all author rights which you should keep and not give to the publisher.

The internet yields "literary attorneys" and maybe one is in your area, but you can also hire one over the telephone now that electronic communications are available.

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Jannie Balliett


I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

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I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.

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