Intellectual Property Forums (

(Message started by: Megan Gallacher on Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:00am)

Title: Book idea
Post by Megan Gallacher on Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:00am
I have a concept for a book, that I would likely sell to a publishing company. I wouldn't write it, I just have the idea.  I would want the rights to my idea if they like it. Do i need a patent or some kind of intellectual property protection? Thanks for your help.

Title: Re: Book idea
Post by JimIvey on Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:07am
For the content of books, copyright is the most natural form of protection.  However, for just an idea about what to write in a book isn't really copyrightable.  You'd do best to think about trade secret -- which may be a bit of a stretch and I doubt a publisher would sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

My understanding (and I don't work in this area, so take it with a grain of salt) is that pre-book deals are only signed for accomplished authors.  I don't think publishers pay money for book ideas by non-authors, but I could be wrong.  Even if you hoped to write it yourself, I think it's a long-shot to hope to get a contract before writing the book unless you're already an accomplished author.  It's just too risky for the publisher.

I'd also suggest trying your question on the copyright forum.


Title: Re: Book idea
Post by JSonnabend on Apr 4th, 2006, 7:10am
No need to post in the copyright forum.  Jim's 100% right in his analysis, I believe.  An NDA is your only real option, and ou'd have a tough time convincing a book publisher to sign an NDA.  

In any event, book publishers publish books, they don't write them, as far as I know.

- Jeff

Title: Re: Book idea
Post by Isaac on Apr 4th, 2006, 8:13am
Generally speaking, "idea people" who come up with the inspiration for other authors and inventors have a very tough time getting paid.   The few that can make it work, invariably already have a reputation for success in their industry usually based on bringing their own ideas to fruition.   They also know how the relevant industries work and know how to approach the right people without an NDA.

I don't personally have that knowledge.   It's not strictly speaking, an "IP" thing.

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