Traditional Publishing

Review: The Law (in Plain English) for Writers

By Rocky Reichman
Editor and Publisher, Literary Magic – Friday March 28, 2008

The Law (in Plain English) for Writers, by Leonard D. Duboff and Bert P. Krages, II
Sphinx Publishing Naperville, Illinois $16.95
ISBN #: 1-57248-476-4

Writers need to be creative. They also need to be business savvy, in order to successfully publish, promote and sell their books. But one aspect that's constantly overlooked for writers is Law. Legal matters, for writers. Dozens of books tell you how to market your books, and twice that many show you how to write them. But very few offer succinct, clear legal guidance like this book does. And the wording is in plain English, too. The Law (in Plain English) for Writers is a comprehensive yet easy to understand legal guide for writers. The book's pages cover a large amount of publishing law and writing legalities.

The only criticism for this book is that too much space is spent on general law, such as tax deductions and the First Amendement (Freedom of Speech and Information). The book includes plenty of useful information on Royalties, Rights and Contracts. Topics like these are enough for the book to constitute a Writer's Guide. But this isn't meant to be a law guide, or a handbook on tax deductions. Those issues are not pertinent enough to the subject to warrant such vast attention. Indeed, it's the rest of the book that's worth paying most attention to.

Throughout The Law (in Plain English) for Writers, the authors discuss topics that are very important to the success and legal survival of writers. Royalties and Advances. Magazine and Book Contracts. Copyright and Permissions. These sections are pertinent to the book's subject. And, to Duboff's and Krages' credit, these topics are covered extensively in easy-to-read, organised chapters. The information is well researched, simply written and customized to fit a writer's needs.

Writers will learn new things about writerly freedoms, permissions and copyrights in this book. They'll also learn about getting their advances and royalties paid on time. Finally, readers of this book will learn to negotiate contracts and thrive in the publishing world – both creatively and legally.

About the Author

Rocky Reichman is a writer and Editor and Publisher of the online literary magazine Literary Magic. He is a Reviewer for the Midwest Book Review and MBR and TCM Reviews. He has authored several articles and reviews, and his language columns have appeared in many newsletters and publications. Visit his website at or contact him at