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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4790
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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I have an old manuscript my great, great something aunt wrote

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I have an old manuscript my great, great something aunt wrote about her life growing up in the south after the civil war. Do I need to ask any of my other family members before I seek publication for the manuscript?

TexLawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

How did you come into possession of it?

Customer:

My mother got it from my her Grandmother's things when her Grandfather died.

TexLawyer :

OK. That manuscript is treated like any other personal property. As such, the rightful owner can do with it as they please. It would be no different than if you found an old painting. If that painting belongs to you, you can sell it or otherwise dispose of it as you want.

TexLawyer :

Since your mother owned it and passed it down to you, you rightfully own it. If you want to publish it, you may do so.

Customer:

Ok. I know that others in the family have at least parts of it. Copies of the first part that I have the original of. Does this make a difference?

TexLawyer :

Do you have a complete manuscript, or do you all have different parts?

Customer:

I have the complete manuscript.

Customer:

The original. I don't know if they got theirs from another original or not.

TexLawyer :

Then you can publish what you have and, in theory, they can publish what they have. Obviously, the someone only possessing parts doesn't have much, but they can do whatever they want to with their part just as you can with your part.

Customer:

Ok (: goody! Thank you. I am looking forward to seeing it in print and am thinking self publishing, but maybe should try for traditional publishing. Any thoughts?

TexLawyer :

I think if you can get it published through traditional means, you should. You will get much wider distribution and marketing. Most self published titles are self published because traditional publishers, for whatever reason, won't. Basically, if a traditional publisher wants it, there is a good chance it will sell.

Customer:

Do you know of any traditional publisher I should try for, for this particular type of novel? My great, great Aunt was an author and it is very well written, novel style.

TexLawyer :

I'm sorry, but I'm not an expert in the workings of publishing agencies and which is best for what types of works.

Customer:

Alright. I'll do some more research. (: Thank you.

TexLawyer :

Glad to help!

TexLawyer :

If I can't do anything else for you, please remember to "rate" my answer. Good luck!

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