You are here:

Writing Books/Personal Injury Liab for Writers

Advertisement


Question
I am retired & write Short Stories/ Children's Book for pleasure/hobby. If I get paid anything its in subscriptions, occassionally $5-50/ not much more than a few hundred a yr at best, if any. Have a Homeowners Policy and an Umbrella Policy than covers Personal Injury.  What does a hobby writter need , if any liability coverage & if so do you know if any coverage is afforded under either policy.

Thjanks for any info on this subject.

Answer
Dear Bill,
Thank you for your question. If you do have liability insurance on your homeowners policy, my advice as a fellow homeowner is - don't try to use it unless you really find yourself in hot water. I've heard that the way the insurance industry is these days, you can get your homeowner's policy cancelled just by inquiring about a claim. Once you have two claims, they can refuse to renew your policy. Our elected officials are trying to get legislation passed to protect homeowners, but until that goes through, beware of trying to make any claim on your homeowners insurance.
Most writers don't have liability insurnce, but simply depend on knowing the laws and avoiding subjects that could cause a libel problem. Sometimes publishers have insurance, but not always. If you have any questions, I believe Writers Digest publishes a writer's legal handbook. If you ever feel that you're going into a gray area, consult your publisher or an attorney before you publish.
I wrote a book criticizing the religious cult known as Hare Krishna and the publisher was very aware of the laws and made sure my book was kept within the legal limits. One good weapon is to have tons of documentation. I had more than 1,000 documents, such as news clippings, interviews, internal documents, court documents, etc. Plus, I collected the headlines and dates of every story published on the group in The New York Times. My publisher decided to limit our bibliography only to documents I quoted directly. The other 900 or so documents remain in a file box at the bottom of my closet, but the publisher was glad I have them.
The general rule of thumb is that you can say what you want about a public figure. But read a good book on the subject for more specifics.
I hope this helps,
Sincerely,
Nori

Writing Books

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Nori J. Muster

Expertise

Writing and publishing books, including e-books.

Experience

I have been writing for publication since 1981, including years as a staff writer, associate editor, editorial writer, and freelance reporter. At this time, I have eight Kindle books for sale at Amazon.com.

Organizations
Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Publications
Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World
Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life
Child of the Cult
Learning to Flow with the Tao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching
Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind
Collected Writings: Five Books by Nori Muster
Noriland Art Gallery: Secrets from the Vault
Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories


Education/Credentials
UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991

Awards and Honors
Interviews:
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme, Salon.com, Glamour Magazine, Portland Mercury News, W-Five TV (Toronto), Publisher's Weekly, Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC TV News - 20/20, ABC radio, Associated Press, The Age (Melbourne), Rediff.com, The New York Times, Religious News Service, Dallas Morning News, Columbia Journalism School, Whole Life Times (Los Angeles), Toronto Sun, the John Dayle Show (KFYI AM, Phoenix), the Eliot Stein Show (syndicated radio and Internet broadcast), Discovery with Josh Wagner (KKUP, 91.5 FM, Santa Clara, California), KOGO (News Radio 600, San Diego), Jupiterís Girl syndicated radio show, Lakes Log.

Book Reviews:
Publisherís Weekly, Feminist Bookstore News, Yoga Journal, New York Post, Choice Magazine, Boston Herald, Nexus (Colorado), Gentle Strength Times, Coastlines (UCSB alumni), Theology Digest, Nova Religio, Rapport, India West, Rediff.com, Amazon.com.

Book Signings:
Prescott College reunion; Gentle Strength Co-op, Tempe; Different Drummer Bookshop, Laguna Beach; L.A. Times Toastmasters; Biltmore Plaza Border's Books, Phoenix; Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles; Health & Life Enrichment Expo, Pasadena; Sacramento Reads book festival, and others.

Publishers:
ISKCON World Review, Van Dhal Publications, Gentle Strength Times, Arizona Woman, Lakes Log, ICSA Today, Cultic Studies Review, University of Illinois Press, Kindle, steamboats.com, surrealist.org, Apple Books, and others.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.