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Question
Dear E. W.,
I have a very unusual, the next "SpongeBob Squarepants" book which i think will go far.  However, this is my first.  I have sent query letters to some children's book agents in the NYC and will do the same with some big publishers.  The problem is I have a problem trusting them to send out all my work with manuscript and drawings which is what they ask.  I ask for a meeting but none would.  What is your advice?  What about copywright protection?  Them signing off a disclaimer?
You don't know how much i appreciate your answer,
annie

Answer
I'd suggest you do two things:

1.  Apply for a copyright.  The fee is only $20 or $30 and the forms are available for download from the Library of Congress web site.

2.  Establish a de facto but legally binding copyright by mailing copies of all material to yourself via registered mail with return receipt.  When the envelope arrives, don't open it, but put it in a safe deposit box together with the receipt as proof that you created the material prior to the date in question.  If you ever have to prove ownership in court, let the judge open it.

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E.W. Brody

Expertise

How to get published. I`ve written eight books, edited a ninth, and have published more articles in business and professional journals than I care to remember. I`m in process of working with an agent at the moment on several non-academic books

Experience

Three university degrees, eight published books, more periodical and newspaper articles than I can remember. And I've two more books in development.

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