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Using Your own Words

Tolkien

Minstrel
What is the policy about using your own words in a future self-published book that is already published in a self-published book of yours?


TY.
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
uh....you need to be a bit more specific. Are you talking like a speech by one character that resonates into related books (a 'call to arms' type thing), or simply dropping a random chapter or scene from one book into another?
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
uh....you need to be a bit more specific. Are you talking like a speech by one character that resonates into related books (a 'call to arms' type thing), or simply dropping a random chapter or scene from one book into another?

Sorry for being vague. It would be more like taking a few paragraphs and copy-pasting them.
 
I can, just being lazy and wanted to know about the legality of it.
It's not illegal, since you're the owner of the original copyright. You have to have the author's permission to use copyrighted work. If you're the author and you give yourself permission, who can argue?

But it's likely to turn readers off. If I read multiple books by the same author, self published or otherwise, and saw the exact same paragraphs repeated verbatim in more than one of them, I would see it as a sign of bad writing. It would feel like a cheat.
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
Like I said, it'd work if it was a famous speech or prophecy that provides motivation across multiple books, but apart from that...

Now that I think about it, I do have one character who overheard a conversation in book one, relays it to another character in book 3, then dwells on it in subsequent books. However, it's also rather short - under 100 words, and is critical to understanding what is going on.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
Let me put it this way. If the books weren't self published, there's a chance it wouldn't even be legal. It is entirely possible to plagiarize yourself when selling first publishing rights, and a publisher could potentially take legal action against you.

Since both works are self-published, there's no legal issue, but it would be viewed much the same way by a large section of the audience. You will get eviscerating one-star reviews for it.

Obviously if one book is clearly quoting the other, that's okay.
 
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Since both works are self-published, there's no legal issue, but it would be viewed much the same way by a large section of the audience.
Would a large section of the audience be aware of the legal issues?

Personally, if I saw an author repeat their own words verbatim in more than one book (which I occasionally have, but not a whole several paragraphs long passage), I wouldn't think they were plagiarizing, I would think they were a lazy writer. What's the author going to do, sue him/herself for copyright violation?

The only time I wouldn't think it was lazy would be something like this...

Like I said, it'd work if it was a famous speech or prophecy that provides motivation across multiple books, but apart from that...

Or this:

Now that I think about it, I do have one character who overheard a conversation in book one, relays it to another character in book 3, then dwells on it in subsequent books. However, it's also rather short - under 100 words, and is critical to understanding what is going on.

But not a description of an object. Unless, that is, a character is reading the description out of a book, and it's the same book both times. Or a character in the first book wrote that description down when they saw the object, and in book two, another character reads the book one character's description. That kind of thing can provide a neat continuity. But it doesn't sound like that's what the OP has in mind.
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
It's not illegal, since you're the owner of the original copyright. You have to have the author's permission to use copyrighted work. If you're the author and you give yourself permission, who can argue?

But it's likely to turn readers off. If I read multiple books by the same author, self published or otherwise, and saw the exact same paragraphs repeated verbatim in more than one of them, I would see it as a sign of bad writing. It would feel like a cheat.


Great point, Ty.
 
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