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Copyright Registration Recieved

Copyright registration for Covenant With the Dragons: Volume III of the Carandir Saga.
The copyright certificate for Covenant With the Dragons: Volume III of the Carandir Saga arrived on Friday from the United States Library of Congress. I was born in Beautiful Downtown Burbank, California, directly between NBC and Walt Disney Studios, something I’ve always thought had an impact on my life. I came to Nova Scotia to research my first novel, Beyond the Shallow Bank, which I set in the province for several reasons. I was so taken by the land and the people I moved and became a Canadian citizen, though I retain my American citizenship as well because I strongly believe in the principals upon which the United States was founded. Nova Scotia just feels like home.

The reason I registered the copyright in the U.S. is because the former conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, gutted the Canadian copyright act such that universities that once paid into a fund for the right to photocopy sections of articles and books are no longer required to pay anything. Before the copyright act was changed, if a book was a part of a university curriculum, the students would buy copies. Professors can now digitize an entire book and distribute it to a class without paying anything, leaving the author with no revenue for what could be years of hard work.

Prime Minister Justine Trudeau, who heads the current Liberal government, has promised to fix the copyright law for over seven years. Nothing has been done. Writers obviously don’t make up a large enough voting block to be considered. There is no chance Pierre Poilievre, the Conserve Party leader, would even consider undoing a wrong committed by Steven Harper if he formed government. It seems both political leaders think writers should work for free.

The Writers’ Union of Canada has been fighting for the government to keep its promise with no results. I spoke with my MP, Kody Blois, about the problem and gave him a copy of Beyond the Shallow Bank that won first-place at an international award ceremony so he could see the kind of work Canadian authors are doing and how they raise the profile of Canada on the world stage. He promised to rise in the house and speak on the issue. That was last fall. Once more, when the Liberals announced the budget, there was no mention of copyright.

So, as a duel Canadian/American citizen, I register the copyright for all my books in the United States where the rights of writers are stronger. If any university or professor copies my work without compensation, I will be able to take legal action both in Canada and the United States and file a complaint with the World Trade Origination.

Of course, it would be best if politicians kept their word and actually served the citizens instead of their own selfish bids for re-election.

Don't Write to Trends

Don’t try to write to trends or opinion polls. These change too often. By the time your book is ready for publication, tastes can vanish.

Be bold. Sit down and write your book. It's all you can do.

The Lord of the Rings was a modest seller when it first appeared in the early 1950s. Nothing like it had been published before.

It wasn’t until the 1960s, when college students discovered the books, that it became the hit we know today.

J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t write to please fans or media swings. He wrote from his heart. Write from yours. Tell your story. It has just as good a change of selling as trying to catch yesterday’s fad.