Ownership of Your Work Matters; The Book of Prince

IMG_1618 2.jpg

Ownership is a thing I have preached for years now to my creator clients. Once you give away ownership of your creative work - whether it’s a script, a book manuscript, photographs, or music - then you have lost control. When you are a creator, who is likely a freelancer of a solopreneur, control and ownership are your two most important concepts.

There is a terrific article in the New Yorker about Prince (The Book of Prince by Dan Piepenbring), and this was something that Prince understood incredibly well.

“Tell Esther”—Newberg, [Prince’s] agent at I.C.M.—“and Random House that I want to own my book,” he said. “That you and I would co-own it, take it to all the distribution channels.”

Without ownership of your work, you take the risk that editors, producers or other people far removed from you will revise your work, your creation. You risk that your vision will be not be fully realized. You risk that what you have poured your guts out for won’t reach the audience as you intended.

While this sounds so self evident that it does not need to be repeated, it does bear repeating. Always retain ownership of your creative work and license it to third parties via a written licensing agreement.