Intellectual Property Tracker is web-based software that allows writers to track all the important information associated with their product, i.e. their intellectual property (IP). Taglines, blurbs, sales copy, keywords, vendor and platform links, details about various formats (audio, POD, print, ebooks), publication history, submission history, IP rights management, details about advances, contracts, and promotion history, etc. Instead of keeping this important information in a tangle of spreadsheets, various documents, pieces of paper, etc., Intellectual Property Tracker allows you to have all the information in one place.
It is designed specifically for the Indie and hybrid author. The more prolific you are, the more you're going to appreciate having all this information in one place.
The screenshots below are akin to a rough draft. I put them together to show you how this software can be used. The final version will probably look different (i.e. it'll be cleaned up and easier to use). If you have access to the internet, you'll be able to log-in to our secure website and use it from whatever device you are on. You also have our solemn pledge that your data will never be traded, sold or shared.
Before we invest the time it will take to create a polished final version, we need to gauge interest.
That's what this fundraiser is about. It will allow us to go into final development.
What is Intellectual Property and why do I need to worry about it? I'm just in this to write.
Dean Wesley Smith of WMG Publishing answers this question best in his Magic Bakery Workshop (a $150 value), which is included as part of the rewards for a pledge of $25 or more.
The Magic Bakery...
Stemming from a simple metaphor that your writing business, from creation to sales, can be shown clearly as a bakery.
But it is a magic bakery because in your bakery, when someone buys a slice of pie, the slice is still there, to be sold again. Same with the cakes, the doughnuts, the cookies.
The bakery remains full as long as you do not do something stupid.
In essence, this workshop combines learning copyright with understanding the nature of a business in fiction writing in a clear and understandable way.
This workshop will also give you perspective on being a freelance fiction writer. When to license a copyright, when not to, when to do movie deals and why. And even some about how. Because when you are standing inside your own magic bakery, so many things about publishing become very clear.
This workshop will help your magic bakery come alive.
This workshop is the following...
--- A business workshop.
--- A production workshop.
--- A copyright workshop.
--- A subsidiary rights workshop.
Yup, all of that and a bunch more.
A well-rounded look at a writer's publishing business that will change how you look at your writing business.
Once the campaign funds, if you donated $25 or more, you will receive an e-mail with a link to sign up for the class. A coupon code that will allow you to take the class for free will also be included.
How will Intellectual Property Tracker work?
For each story you've written, you'll have a "Main Form" to collect and track information relevant to that piece of IP. I've created a sample novel to show you some of the things that the software is meant to do. The more you write, whether you self-publish or use a publisher, the more information you need to track. You can't expect your publisher to keep track of these things for you.
Even if you're brand new and think you don't need all this because you only have a handful of titles, trust me when I tell you that you'll wish you'd done this when you only had a handful. Managing only a dozen pieces of IP can be daunting.
As we go through these screenshots, keep in mind that it's dummy data and while I get that a self-published IP won't need all the contract and rights management data shown, I put it in there just to show you what is possible. Likewise, if you're traditionally published, some of the data items for a self-published piece of IP won't apply to you, until your rights revert and you decide to re-release it.
The Main Form:
This is where the basic information about your IP rests. The title, subtitle, series info, date of first publication, word count, genre, cover, tagline, sales copy, blurbs, and keywords. Each of these fields are searchable, so you're never more than one or two clicks away from finding the right title, even if you're managing 300 of them.
Vendor and Platform Links:
This is where all the links associated with this IP reside, along with additional data like ISBNs and vendor or platform IDs. Why is this important? If you promote your IP you'll likely need links to it and if you self-pub and include links to your other works in your manuscript, you want to include store-specific links. We put them all in one, easy-to-find place. No more hunting around in notes and spreadsheets. The blank line at the top is a special line that allows you to enter new data quickly, without scrolling to the bottom of your current list. There will also be the ability to sort by certain headers. The little circles at the end of each row allow you to delete a line item.
Here is where you'd keep track of the different formats for this IP. If you have an audio version you can enter the length of the recording, along with the regular price in your local currency. If you have an ebook version (and who doesn't) you'll store the number of pages and regular price. If you use POD, the page count, trim size, and price. If you don't track this info, just leave blank what you don't need.
Here's where you track all the different places your IP has appeared. Is it part of a box set? Did you participate in a bundle? Did it appear as part of an anthology? Keep track of the date when your rights revert (when applicable) and you'll be able to pull a report of upcoming reversion dates so you can stay on top of re-releases (i.e. getting a new cover made, or looking to place it in another anthology, or another bundle).
If you sent out your IP, whether it's a short story that made the rounds at magazines or a novel that made the rounds of traditional publishing, you would track that information here. Again, the reversion date is one of those crucial pieces of information you'll need to track so you can pull up a report to prepare for re-releases. Don't do submissions? No worries, just leave these lines blank.
The more successful you are, the more you're going to need to track what rights (ancillary rights, foreign rights, etc.) you've licensed and what triggers reversion. You'll also want to track your advance and relevant dates. We are specifically looking for more input on features for this function, so feel free to let us know what additional information you'd like here. Right now the reversion conditions are a fill in field but there is no reason it can't be a pulldown menu or checkboxes (i.e. snapback vs clawback clauses). We just need to know what you, the users, want and need.
Tracking for copies sold and royalties received. We're soliciting input on what other features you'd like to see here. Charting features not shown here will be available and you'll be able to look at your data how you want, i.e. by title, by time period, by vendor. All with just a few clicks.
I included this particular feature because for my self-published works, I often promote on social media, via groups. In order not to hit the same group with the same item every time, I want the ability to track my promotions. It's also handy to keep track of what additional promotions I've run so that if I see a spike in sales, I can pop over to this page and see when my promotion ran. If you are the type that doesn't want to run simultaneous promotions because you want to be able to say that sales during a particular period were due to a specific promotion, this is one way of staying in control of that.
Sometimes you just need to keep track of random info or maybe jot down a to-do item or two associated with your IP.
We know that every writer is at a different place in their writing career. Some are just starting out. Others have been at this for decades. Some are prolific. Others are not. Some have assistants. Others do everything themselves. In order to service everyone's needs, we've set up different reward levels that will carry through once the product goes live.
What you get:
Once the campaign funds...
For the "I'm not a writer, but I'd to help" $10 pledge, you'll get an electronic copy of my novella, Enemy Beloved. It's a new, expanded edition and will be out in March. You'll get an e-mail with a download link.
Everyone that pledges at least $25 gets access to WMG's Magic Bakery Workshop (a $150 value).
Beta access to the website begins at the $50 level.
Your one-year access begins when the final product goes live, at the level you pledged: Personal (up to 3 titles), Plus (up to 10 titles plus an assistant account), Professional (up to 20 titles, unlimited assistant accounts), Prolific (unlimited titles, unlimited assistant accounts).
When you get it:
As soon as a beta version is ready, we will grant access to anyone who has pledged $50 or more. Once the final product is ready (goal of August 1, 2019) everyone (including the $25 pledge level) will get access for one year based on their pledge level.
Tutorials will be provided in both written and video form for the final product. Product and tech support will be available via the website.
What about after the first year?
Your first year is INCLUDED for your pledge should this campaign fully fund and starts when the final product is released (not the beta).
After that first year is over, renewals will be set up as follows*:
- Starter: Free- 1 title
- Personal: $5/mo ($50 annual) - up to 3 titles
- Plus: $10/mo ($100 annual) - up to 10 titles; includes one assistant account.
- Professional: $15/mo ($150 annual) - up to 20 titles; includes unlimited assistant accounts.
- Prolific: $25/mo ($250 annual) - unlimited titles; unlimited assistant accounts.
[Assistant accounts are additional log-ins for your personal assistant so they can access YOUR information. They will have limited access that you, as the account owner, assign them. This is useful for those writers that delegate data entry to an assistant.]
Renewal prices are subject to change.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk is that there will not be enough interest in the product and it won't reach its funding goal. Per Kickstarter policy: "If a project doesn’t reach its funding goal, creators will not be expected to complete their project without the funds necessary to do so, and backers will not be charged. "Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)