How Cyber Law by Brett Trout is an Example of POD Publishing

Cyber Law by Brett Trout (ISBN 978-1-934209-71-4) is an excellent book by a very talented writer. Cyber Law is a major success story for World Audience Publishers, and after reading just a few chapters, anyone can see why!

World Audience’s goal is to be a driving force in the changing business of book publishing, which is being brought about by technology. Cyber Law specifically deals with how law is both shaping and trying to keep pace with the Internet. Cyber Law covers its subject in a clear and entertaining manner. It is thus a perfect fit for our press, and Cyber Law’s success bodes well for this press’ vision and goals. It is useful to study how the author approaches his subject and then apply that knowledge toward this press’ pursuit of its vision. It is vital that the authors World Audience publishes have a good understanding of blogging, for example, to market their books, and Cyber Law explains this subject and many others in great detail.

Cyber Law was published in September, 2007, shortly after our press began publishing books. It is a wonderful example of how desktop publishing, print-on-demand distribution, and our press work. Though we have enhanced our operations in the past 2 years, our core model is largely unchanged. We are efficient, and our business model has little overhead. A publishing team, separated geographically, worked online to publish Cyber Law. The author, in Iowa, worked with the book’s editor, Kyle Torke, who lives in Colorado. The final file was then sent to me, the publisher, in New York, and I formatted it into a book using only Microsoft Word. I then sent the file to our artist in Liverpool, England, Chris Taylor, to design the cover with the help of the cover image supplied by another artist. I then created the final files by converting the MS Word files to PDF with the use of a Web application that cost approximately $13. I set up the title (with the information that can be viewed at Amazon.com or related retailers) at our printer, Lightning Source, and then uploaded 4 PDF files: cover, back cover, spine, and interior. It took me about 1 hour to do the technical component of providing the files to the printer.

Cyber Law is one of our best-selling titles, and sales increase steadily each month. As publisher, I consider the sales growth of Cyber Law to be an indicator of how sales of a book can develop and the growth of our press, overall.

I am faced with a seemingly unanswerable question with each book I publish: what makes a great book? And what defines a great book in the first place? Perhaps the fact that I ask this question every time drives the press I run in the first place. To complicate further, the answer or answers to this question are changing because publishing itself is changing. This fact has dramatic impact on certain players in the industry, even as many of those players choose to ignore or avoid the reality that not only is publishing changing, but the answer to my question above is changing, too. In other words, the values held by a previous generation are not my values as a “21st century publisher,” operating primarily online, nor is what makes a book great the same.

For example, Cyber Law received excellent reviews, such as: “This book is a quick read and serves as an introduction to the basic issues involved in Internet marketing. Cyber Law’s details provide valuable clues…” –Martha L. Cecil-Few, The Colorado Lawyer. And, Cyber Law was reviewed by a noted technology expert, and it is available at the New York Public Library. For me, that (and there are more great reviews of Cyber Law) is a solid set of reviews that brings great credit not only to this book but to my press. And this is how it goes for every single one of our titles-though some of our titles have more reviews than others. But, for an older person not accustomed to the Internet or technology and who grew up reading the New York Times Book Review, the above reviews (or the effect of their marketing) mean nothing-simply because Cyber Law was not reviewed by the New York Times Book Review or perhaps a handful of other esoteric, academic sources (many of which are dying or dead, such as the Los Angeles Times book review section). Therefore, this potential market share of customers won’t buy a book that has not been blessed by their sources-such as Cyber Law (even being in the NY Public Library is not enough). This lack of “official sanction” in the publishing world has other consequences, such as making media attention in general hard to attract, among other things. And there are many other examples of how publishing of the past is clashing with the present, even down very petty things such as how older, independent bookstores will open a print-on-demand book to the back cover, note the placement of a bar code, and refuse to look any further at the book based on that fact alone. All of these biases (and there are many more) of the “old guard” are the equivalent of dismissing literally millions of writers who work online, and their books, and to exclude an entire generation-if not two generations-from access to the business of publishing and successfully marketing books in a profitable manner. It is a form of class warfare and economic prejudice. Even racial discrimination or nationalism can be applied to this “old guard” of publishing, who at the very least would be adamantly opposed (mostly politically) to free trade, which drives World Audience’s business model. Old-school publishing thrives on unions, for example, which are useless online.

What makes a book great, therefore, is different for me, as a publisher-and not because of my politics (this fact too marks a divide). What makes a book great is when it gets great reviews and that it can survive and prosper on the Web. If a title can do that with limited help from its publisher-such as Cyber Law-then even better because that means even more sales are likely once more resources are applied to marketing it. But if older venues of judging a book’s merit or “worth” are either gone or rapidly becoming obsolete, how is the other half to making a book great determined? A book’s worth must now be defined by the author in additional to the critic. But the critic’s role is diminished on the Web; he is nothing like Mr. Wood’s role of the past. In the recent past, an author had little to do with a book’s success, and he was even something of an afterthought. However, going back another generation, to maybe the 1920s, the author was a vital part of his book’s success. How ironic that technology has returned the author to a prominent role. In the pre-Depression era (The Depression is when the business model of publishing that survives to this day formed), the author was a major media figure, and his image was central to the success of his books. Furthermore, an author’s editor played a much larger role pre-Depression (such as Max Perkins) as opposed to the recent past, when editors were virtually non-entities. Yet, if you look at the start of my article, note the main players: author, editor, and publisher-and book. Because of the streamlined nature of our operations, and the multitude of technologies at our fingertips, we require no one else. We do not require a vast union of middlemen.

Publishing is changing, and the rate of change is only accelerating. It is amazing to me that there are still those who are, say, over 50 and averse to technology-and that includes much of the publishing industry. This group-this market share-exerts influence over a large piece of the publishing pie, even today. However, as the Internet and technology continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, “new publishing” is open to more market share, and this older demographic becomes irrelevant. For example, YouTube only became fully mature a year or two ago, and it has opened up many new opportunities for advertising and marketing books. The Web is simply too vast for older publishing business models, which are incapable of adapting, to survive. Thus, new business models that rely on technology-ebooks, for example-will take and replace the market share of old-school presses. Why would they not eliminate a smaller competitor? New publishing will not supplement the old model; it will eradicate it and take its entire market share. And readers used to getting their books through older distribution models will either adapt to the Web or live without books. And in the meantime, a new generation of publishers is redefining what it means for a book to be great, independent of what it meant in the past. Cyber Law is helping to define that, too, both through its well-written very subject matter and the course of success that it is charting on the Web.

Why Business and Law Go Hand in Hand

If you are getting ready to start a new business, or if you have already done so, it is important that you understand the areas where business and law intersect and rely on one another. There are a wide variety of potential legal situations that business owners might find themselves in when starting a business or growing an existing one. Because the average person might not be aware of the minute details of business law, they could end up facing severe financial consequences.

The best way to properly protect yourself from legal liability is by hiring or consulting with a business lawyer. However it is also important that you learn about the general concepts of business and law, so you will be able to know when you need legal protection. If you want to adequately protect yourself and your new business, here are some things you should understand about business and law, and why the two should go hand-in-hand.

Starting a Business

Starting, running or growing a business can be a very exciting venture. Unfortunately many people are so eager to get up and running that they often overlook very important legal aspects of starting their business. And because of the nature of a new business, even if legal issues are known, the business owners might not have enough financial resources to obtain legal assistance.

No business is exempt from the potential of being faced with some common legal problems, including discrimination or harassment claims, dissatisfied customers, patent or copyright issues, disgruntled employees, and many other legal issues. If large and small companies alike do not have the help of experienced business lawyers on their side, they could end up mishandling certain situations and facing disastrous consequences. Even seemingly minor legal issues could quickly spiral out of control if they are not handled properly by someone who is familiar with the ins and outs of corporate law.

Even the most optimistic business owners can find their lives turned upside-down by a single harassment claim by a disgruntled employee or a claim of errors and omissions by a customer. In some situations, business owners may unwittingly admit to something they are not guilty of just to calm down an angry customer or employee.

These risks should not dissuade people from starting businesses, but should instead serve as examples of what could occur if the proper precautions are not taken.

Legal Considerations

When you start a business and are offering goods or services to a particular market, there is always the possibility that a transaction could go wrong, that a customer or employee could feel they have been wronged, or that a contractual agreement may fall apart. In these situations, it is crucial that you and your assets are protected. An important step in running a business is choosing the proper legal entity that it should be. Different entities have different levels of protection, shielding individuals from liability, offering different tax benefits and establishing roles between partners. Another step in protecting yourself is obtaining and implementing the proper type of insurance, that might be relied on if a particular dispute arises.

Other legal considerations of running a business involve the use of clear contracts between you and those you do business with. One of the biggest causes of business disputes is where two parties are involved in a business arrangement, end up disagreeing what that arrangement is, and either have an inadequate contract, or no contract at all that describes each of their obligations. Individuals and businesses can lose large amounts of money simply because they failed to properly define their legal obligations and put a contract in place.

Business Attorneys

At any time during their operation, both small companies and large corporate entities can be faced with unexpected legal issues that they are simply not prepared for. One of the best ways to prevent such dangers, and to protect yourself if a dispute arises, is to hire or consult with a specialized business lawyer.

A lawyer who is experience in the areas of business law will be able to help you avoid potential liability in the future, and can help defend or enforce your business against others if a dispute arises. If you want to make sure that your company is able to reach its full potential without being sidetracked by legal problems, you can significantly increase your chances of success by hiring an experienced lawyer.

As long as businesses continue to exist, there will always be the need for competent legal protection. Make the smart move for the future of your business by hiring a qualified lawyer to make sure your company is always represented and prepared for unexpected legal situations.

Business and Law

The areas of business and law are intrinsically connected and will always go hand in hand. Our legal system has many regulations and laws in place to govern those operating a business, and it is important to have at least a basic understanding of the legal implications of starting a business. With a little research, basic knowledge, and ideally help from specialized business litigation lawyers, you can continue to grow your business while implementing best practice strategies, and protecting yourself, employees and customers at the same time.

Lane Splitting Law Is A Legal Grey Area

There is no absolutely universal legal view on lane splitting, because lane splitting law varies from each state to the next. Even within a single state, lane splitting law tends to be far more complex than many of the other kinds of legislation that restrict how drivers and motorcycle riders can behave. Lane splitting in California is legal in many circumstances, but not in all circumstances, so whether a biker is cited for illegal lane splitting in California has as much to do with what kind of mood a police officer is in as it does with the realities of lane splitting law. Lane splitting law is one of the greyest areas of ambiguity in modern laws that govern the safe use of vehicles, so it is little wonder then that there is a lot of confusion about lane splitting law among driver, motorcycle riders, and even among lawyers and other law professionals.

Even in states where lane splitting is legal, most motorcycle riders who are concerned with being very prudent about their safety and making sure that they are within the confines of the law avoid lane splitting at all because it is such a grey area in terms of law and in terms of safety. Lane splitting law is complex, but the most important decision that a motorcycle rider makes about lane splitting shouldn’t be whether it is legal in a given situation, but rather whether it is safe. Lane splitting is often very dangerous, and even in the cleanest and clearest of circumstances lane splitting can lead to an accident if things go even slightly awry.

Although lane splitting is legal in some states like California, California bikers might find it prudent to take a cue from other states on this matter. The fact that lane splitting is technically legal in California under most circumstances does not mean that it is a safe practice. One of the most dangerous things about lane splitting is that many automobile drivers do not know how to safely interact with motorcycle riders, so lane splitting can make drivers panic and do things that are unpredictable and often cause injury or even death to motorcycle riders who were technically behaving within their legal rights. It is important to remember that legal lane splitting isn’t always safe lane splitting, so although it is important to follow lane splitting law it is even more important to follow your common sense when deciding whether to lane split on your bike or not.

There is a lot of debate among the motorcycle riding community and among drivers about whether current lane splitting law is satisfactory. Some people feel that current lane splitting law is too loose and not restrictive enough about lane splitting. There are even individuals and groups calling for a national ban on lane splitting under any circumstances. However, there are also plenty of individuals and groups who believe that lane splitting can be safely practiced, and that there should be more of an effort to educate motorcycle riders and divers about how to split lanes safely without causing accidents. Whatever your personal views on lane splitting may be, it is almost certainly true that lane splitting law is one of the most complex areas of law surrounding the practices of drivers and motorcycle riders.