Are You Ready to Get Published?

You’ve slaved over your manuscript, and you finally think it’s there and ready to be published. Unless you are self-publishing, you must find an editor who loves your work and has faith in its success in order to keep moving forward with the project. So, what’s the next step? The Book Proposal.

I stumbled across an excellent article on The Behler Blog that goes over the 13 basic steps to creating a winning book proposal. I am going to excerpt these important aspects of the book proposal for you here:

  • COVER SHEET (title and subtitle of book; genre, word count, author’s name, address, phone, fax, email)
  • CONCEPT STATEMENT (optional—briefly state the target audience, why they need this book, why your book is unique or timely, why you are an authority on the topic, and what your book offers that other books don’t).
  • OVERVIEW (how you came to write the book—weave in attention-getting facts; this must be the most compelling part of your proposal!)
  • PURPOSE OF THE BOOK (what will your book do? what need will it fill? how will it benefit readers?)
  • THE MARKET/AUDIENCE (who will buy your book? why do they want or need it? give statistics)
  • COMPETITIVE BOOKS (what else exists? where is it shelved? how is your book new and better? how does your book differ from all other books on this topic?)
  • MARKETING OF THE BOOK (bookstores, book clubs, Internet, clubs, associations; if applicable—these are sales outside of a bookstore environment such as retail store chains, specialty stores, catalogs)
  • PROMOTION & PUBLICITY (list newspapers, magazines, TV & radio stations that the publisher should contact)
  • AUTHOR’S PROMOTIONAL CONTRIBUTION (list everything you’ll do to make the book successful; be sure to include all of your ideas for author appearances and events)
  • COMPLETION OF THE BOOK (state that “x” months from date of contract you will deliver the manuscript—usually a 9-12 month period is allowed)
  • SEQUELS (optional—list 1-3 other projects that interest you and that have a large audience)
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR (your background and experience; why you are the best person to write the book)
  • THREE SAMPLE CHAPTERS (your first three chapters)

If you are struggling with getting your book together, send us an email and we can discuss how Holiday Princess Publishing can help you. Send us a note at goffinpr@aol.com or call 714-528-1258.  We can make it happen!!



Ebook available on Kindle.com

Judith Goffin, author

© all rights reserved


U.S.Army Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion Event

DSC_0235DSC_0208Here I am with Colonel Mark Ripley of the  U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion – Los Angeles. Photos from the quarterly meeting held at the Hollywood Woman’s Club. This was my first time meeting the new Battalion Commander. More than 60 people attended the community planning meeting.

2016 7-29-2016 Holywood Blvd 001On the way to the Battalion Meeting…Hollywood on a Summer Day..

Update to my readers…

2koko016- 6-21-2016 Boulevard K Bar at Benjies 001To all my readers and followers:

I apologize for not getting back to you to answer your questions. In the future it would expidite matters if you would email me your questions to the following address:


Thank you and I look forward to reading your comments!

Keep on writing!……..


Preview Party at Avenue K in Santa Ana on Tustin Avenue



Here I am with Noriko and Lloyd Weinstein owners of the new bar and Benjies New York Deli!

June 21, 2016

2016- 6-21-2016 Boulevard K Bar at Benjies 001

2016- 6-21-2016 Boulevard K Bar at Benjies 008

Summer Day Poem 2016

Summer Day


It is a beautiful summer day-

The birds are awakening,

calling to one another…

come out and play.


It reminds me of summers

long ago with the children

playing in the sprinklers—

dousing each other with the hose,

giggling as they played.


I sit calmly in the garden,

breathing the pungent air of

orange and lemon blossoms—

with a hint of mint and jasmine—

Reminds me of the perfect

cup of tea while reminiscing

of all things pure and sweet.


Life has changed; the children

gone, but my memories linger on.

I continue to sit in the garden

with my sweet thoughts hugging

me all around—

as I capture the essence

of the perfect summer day.



Judith Goffin         June 25, 2016


Annual Memorial Day 2016 at the Nixon Library with Placentia Symphonic Band, plus a Rose from the Patricia Nixon Library Gardens

Mr. Hausey, Conductor2016-5-30 MEMORIAL DAY NIXON LIBRARY 004

Mrs. Hausey, playing the piano and xylophone2016-5-30 MEMORIAL DAY NIXON LIBRARY 009 Memorial Piano2016-5-30 MEMORIAL DAY NIXON LIBRARY 001 Audience waiting for performance2016-5-30 MEMORIAL DAY NIXON LIBRARY 002 Rose from Patricia Nixon Library Gardens2016-5-30 MEMORIAL DAY NIXON LIBRARY 018

Enjoy my Spring David Austin rose!

5-15-2016 AM and David Austin 016

An article I found very interesting that I wanted to share with you, the reader.

 Knowing Your Copyrights

August 24, 2010
by  Howard G. Zaharoff, Writer’s Digest Newsletter

You may not be a copyright expert…but that’s OK. This guide will help you understand the basics to protect yourself.

Being a writer, you might think that your stock in trade is words—words combined into sentences, assembled into paragraphs, and forged into articles and stories. At best, that’s half-true. And just as you couldn’t survive as a real-estate agent without understanding real property rights, you can’t thrive as a writer without appreciating your real stock in trade: not words, but rights to words—what the law calls “copyrights.” Here’s your chance to learn how copyrights are created, transferred and protected, and how such key concepts as “work made for hire” and “fair use” fit in.


The Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U.S. Code) protects original “works of authorship,” which include most creative output—from literature, music and paintings to movies, choreography and computer programs. Copyright law protects the way an author or artist expresses an idea, principle or fact; it doesn’t protect the underlying ideas or facts themselves.

Copyright covers five key rights:

Reproduction—the right to create identical or substantially similar copies of the work.

Adaptation—the right to create derivatives of the original work, such as abridgments, translations and versions in other media (book to film, song to music video, etc.).

Distribution—the right to make the first sale of each copy of the work.

Performance—the right to recite, play, dance or act the work publicly.

Display—the right to show the work publicly, directly or by means of film, slide, TV image or other device.

Someone who wants to exploit Kent Haruf’s novel Plainsong needs his permission to publish and sell the work (reproduction and distribution), to make a Hallmark film version (adaptation and performance) or to take his well-defined characters, Raymond and Harold McPheron, and place them in a new story (courts have extended copyright protection to original, well-defined, literary characters).

People in publishing and entertainment often buy slices of these rights, using special terms to define the scope. For example, publishers may ask authors to license first serial rights, reprint rights, paperback rights, foreign translation rights and TV adaptation rights. Therefore, writers must appreciate how their work could be used and should be as clear as possible about the rights they’re granting.


For works created or first published after 1977, a copyright generally lasts until 70 years after the author’s death. For anonymous and pseudonymous works, and works made for hire (discussed below), however, copyright protection expires 120 years from creation or, if sooner, 95 years after publication. These terms are fixed and may not be renewed. (For works published before 1978, different rules apply. See Section 303 of the Copyright Act and Circulars 15, 15a and 15t.)


Copyrights arise automatically when you put your ideas into tangible form. From the moment you express yourself on paper, canvas, video or computer disk, your expression is protected.

Although copyright is automatic, there are two measures authors can use to improve their rights. The first is a proper notice: the word “Copyright” or the international symbol © (publishers often use both; always at least use the latter), the year of first publication and the author’s name or a recognizable abbreviation.

Including notice prevents an infringer from pleading innocence. It should be displayed prominently, preferably at the beginning of your work. If your piece will appear in an anthology, magazine or other collective work, a single notice in the publisher’s name preserves your rights. A separate copyright notice in your own name, however, will clarify that you alone, not the publisher, can authorize further use.

The second measure that improves your rights is registration. Registration isn’t required for a copyright to exist, but it’s a prerequisite to a suit for infringement of U.S. works and, if done early enough, can greatly increase the damages you can recover. That is, if someone infringes your work and then you register it, you may recover both your actual damages and the infringer’s profits. If your work is infringed after registration, however, you may recover your attorneys’ fees and, instead of actual damages and profits, elect “statutory damages.” These are monetary damages awarded at the court’s discretion, without regard to your actual loss, and are potentially worth far more than your actual losses.


The registration process is fairly simple: You submit an application and $30 fee, plus one copy of your work if it’s unpublished or two copies of the “best edition” if it’s published. (The “best edition” is the published edition of highest quality; see Circular 7b.) For detailed guidance, visit the Copyright Office Web site at www.copyright.gov and click on “How to Register a Work.”

But keep in mind that while registration is very important for publishers, it has limited value for freelance writers, few of whom earn enough to justify the cost of registering every article, poem or other short work. (Note, however, that there are several “group” registration options available; see Form GR/CP.) If you work in longer media, such as novels and plays, your publisher will normally attend to registration. If it doesn’t, you should.


The creator of the work generally owns the copyrights unless she assigns them in writing to another party. The primary exception is for “works made for hire.”


These are works for which the law recognizes the person who commissions and pays for the work, rather than the person who creates the work, as the “author” and owner of copyrights.

There are two types of works made for hire. The first type includes all works created by employees within the scope of their employment (unless a written contract says otherwise). So if you’re employed by a newspaper to write articles, or hired by a software publisher to write code or manuals, your employer owns the copyrights for these creations.

The Copyright Act also identifies nine categories of works, including translations, compilations and parts of audiovisual works, that are considered for hire if they’ve been specially commissioned and a signed document identifies them as “works made for hire.” Recent court decisions generally take a strict view of these requirements, such that if the work doesn’t fall within one of the nine categories, it won’t be considered a work made for hire.

Thus, if you’re not an employee, and you haven’t agreed in writing that your work is “for hire” or otherwise assigned your rights, you’ll continue to own the copyright, even if someone paid you to create the work. Of course, those paying you are buying something. If you don’t want to guess what that is, you and your publisher should state your understanding in writing (e.g., “I will deliver a 3,000-word article on copyright law by December 29, 2004; upon acceptance you’ll pay me $1,000. You’ll have first North American serial rights for one-time use, and the right to reprint the material in any form for resale, or post it on the Internet for up to six months, in each instance for 25 percent of the original fee”).


When two or more persons contribute copyrightable material with the intent to merge their contributions into a unitary whole, the product is a joint work, and the contributors jointly own the copyright. If two or more authors contribute copyrightable material without intending that their contributions merge (e.g., a composer, with permission, sets another’s poem to music), the result isn’t a joint work, and each author merely owns the copyright to her creation.

Under the law, each joint owner of the copyright may grant nonexclusive licenses to the work but must share any money earned with the co-owner. Each joint owner may also prepare and publish revisions of the original work. If a co-owner dies, his interest passes to his heirs—unlike many forms of co-ownership, where the deceased’s interests belong to the surviving co-owner.

Because the law doesn’t answer all questions (whose name goes first?) and many of its answers aren’t ideal, it’s best to enter into a written agreement before engaging in any serious collaboration.


The Copyright Act permits the “fair use” of portions of others’ work for teaching, news reporting and other desirable purposes. Although the Copyright Act never defines “fair use,” Section 107 of the Act lists four factors to consider in determining whether a use is fair:

  • The purpose and character of the use. Certain uses, such as nonprofit educational use, noncommercial research, news reporting, criticism, satire and parody, receive wider latitude for copying. The key issue is whether the use is “transformative”—that is, as the Supreme Court wrote concerning 2 Live Crew’s “Oh Pretty Woman” parody song, whether the use transforms the original work into a new creation “with a further purpose or different character.”
  • The nature of the copyrighted work. Fiction receives greater protection than nonfiction. This makes sense given that a main purpose of copyright is disseminating information to the public. Although unpublished works are also subject to fair use, the courts are very solicitous of the right of “first publication,” so any copying or paraphrasing should be done with caution.
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used. A few cases have allowed an entire work to be copied (including the Supreme Court’s Betamax case, which allowed the recording of broadcast TV shows for later home viewing and which was recently clarified by the Supreme Court). But generally, if the user copies the critical heart of the work, this will often be considered unfair even if few words are copied. For example, one case held that copying less than 1 percent of the copyrighted letters of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg was potentially unfair.
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. Courts view this as the most critical factor. Quoting substantial portions of a work, such as the lines of a poem, provides the work to others without paying the author. On the other hand, creating a parody of the poem probably won’t diminish the market for it and so may be deemed fair use.

Some experts recommend that authors trying to decide whether their use of another writer’s work is fair should apply the Golden Rule: If you’d be upset to find your work used this way, it’s probably unfair. But different copyright owners tolerate different amounts of copying, so when in doubt, it’s safest to seek written permission.


Yes. Copyrights protect any original expression fixed in tangible form, and the Internet provides a tangible form. Only with explicit or implicit permission (or fair use) is quoting and retransmission OK.

Some of today’s hottest legal issues arise from digital technology and the Internet. In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court held that freelance authors who submit articles to magazines without expressly transferring rights haven’t authorized the publishers to reproduce the work in online or CD-ROM databases. (In response, many publishers now require freelancers to sign contracts in which they specifically assign these rights, or even “all rights”—usually a bad deal for the author.) Another big issue is how to determine, in this age of e-books and print on demand, when a book is “out of print,” which generally determines when rights revert to the author.


Learning the law isn’t why you became a writer. But the more you know, the tougher it will be for publishers, agents and collaborators to prevent you from gaining the full benefits of your hard work as a writer. So make it a point to stay up on legal developments.

When should I Hire a Publicist?

Thought this would be of interest to our readers to revisit this article…


When should you get a Publicist or PR Consultant to Help Promote Your Book?

  Looking at Steps to successfully launch your book


In the last several months I have had calls from authors who wish to discuss how I might help get their books recognized and sold in the marketplace.


Usually they want to know how I can help them; how much it will cost and can I guarantee results? Whether it be an esoteric poet, a historian, a moderate Libertarian who is angry about our political system and global warming, or a rather good Hollywood mystery writer, they all want me to get their books on the New York Times best seller list and increase their revenue to an amazing amount. A highly unlikely happening!


Why did they wait until the book(s) were on Amazon. com, in some bookstores published last year…have old and outdated information and just not competitive…. to say the least.


I am quite candid with all of them and then some….

“When did you decide to write your book?”


“When you decided to write the great American novel did you determine who your audience was; how to reach your marketplace?”


Did you consider doing some research as to who might be of value in handling a campaign for your book?  If you are not funded by a major publishing house and you are self-publishing, do you think it might have been important to consider a marketing strategy, a basic assessment of your readers, a battle plan, something to make your book a winner?


This is what you do before you write your book, not six months or a year later; that is the backwards plan.


And, I hear from these new authors, “Can you get me on the Today Show, CNN, Ellen Degeneres Show, talk radio and oh yes, how about the cover of Time Magazine?  The last author I spoke to said (I didn’t ask him) that his goal is to sell 10,000 copies of his book and be ranked in the top 5 books on the New York Times List.  What a dream.


It is complicated to research, prepare and write a book. Figure how to print it cost-effectively. Get a publicist who believes in the product to help you and then be realistic as to its success.   The authors who have contacted me have all been elderly men, with modest and major career (the back story to promote).


The first thing they say to me after hello, is “I don’t have much money.” Talk about a downer.  Why do they think I will jump with joy to take on an egotistical man who knows how to do it, but doesn’t want to and doesn’t want to pay me what I am worth??


I have debated where to place this piece; on my web site, my blog Respect Encourages Dignity, or on a general publishing Facebook page. And, of course I can send it to print media nationally.  That would get a jolt out to the authors of the world.


After much consideration, I think it will go on the Respect Encourages Dignity, as the more I speak with these authors, the more annoyed I become.  Everyone wants something for nothing and that doesn’t help my economy, my talents, my long standing as a professional publicist, public relations and Social Media Maven.


And are they really prepared?  I hear, my website is still under construction.  No I did not prepare this book as an Ebook. No I don’t have a good picture of myself so people can recognize me.  And, oh yes, my sister’s cousin did the proofreading on the book and I think it is just perfect. No way. It goes on and on.


Now, basically, I am a patient person, but this insanity just has to stop sometime.


Now if you are thinking about writing a book large or small, take time to plan all of the steps for success. Read my Ebook On Writing a Book and gather some common sense before you begin.  If you want to chat with me for $300 per hour, give me a call (714) 528-1258 or email me at goffinpr@aol.com.  No more freebies.



July 9, 2014

Judith Goffin





My long-time friend Helene passed away this week with dignity and style as was her life force.  I did not get to say good-bye, but send good wishes and love to wherever she lands.

For decades, she would drive to my home, get as far as the circular driveway, stop the car and peer at the rose garden…checking on the bouquet that would accompany her home. It was a sweet thing and when she was ready to go home, I got her the clippers, a plastic bag, sometimes a vase or a basket to make her job easier.  She really loved a large Yellow rose called Buccaneer as it had a long shelf life….but as most gardeners’ know all plants have a time to grow and time to leave.  This rose lasted about 20 years.

Several weeks ago, I purchased a new yellow floribunda rose that Helene would have love; but alas she is gone and the rose is having a slow start to add color and dimension to the garden…

I can add that several years ago Helene purchased gorgeous Hydrangeas’ for the garden, but in my area it was too warm and they could not live comfortably, so we took them back to Rogers Gardens and purchased a magnificent Gemini Hybrid Tea rose bush, which has flourished and it always abundant with deep pink and white buds that open to 6-8 inches wide rose with a sweet fragrance.

I will walk my rose garden during the coming years and with fond memories of Helene stopping her car, checking on the roses …..it will certainly bring a smile to my face and a touch of love to my heart.


Judith Goffin    April 8, 2016


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