- Register your copyrights. See more in my guest post on The Digital Reader, linked below, for why you should do this. But in a nutshell: if someone rips you off, you'll be glad you did.
- Check to see if the rights are reverting in any of your old titles. One good suggestion: make a chart of what books revert when, and cross-reference against your royalty statements to make sure that you're not missing any territories or activities.
- Check to see whether any new sales territories or channels have opened up and you've missed it. Example: rumor has it that Amazon is about to add Kindle stores for Japan and China. Do you need to do anything to authorize those territories if that happens?
- If you work in historical genres, ask yourself whether anything fell into the public domain this year that might be useful to you. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies may not be your bag, but Seth Grahame's decision to remix one of the most famous works of fiction sure turned out well for him. This is different for different countries and I've put a good reference source for dates below. (Yes, things fall into the public domain based on the year and not the month, but it's still a good habit...)
- If you work in sci-fi, technothrillers, or other invention-happy genres, maybe take a look at the database of the US Patent and Trademark Office to find some new inventions that might inspire you. Another interesting prospect is the USPTO's new Ask Patents site, where members of the public will be invited to comment on things like pending patent applications. It's already turning out to be a great source for knowledge about how inventions work as well as discussions about new technologies being created today for use tomorrow.
My post on The Digital Reader about registering copyrights:
Cornell Law School list of dates for public domain:
USPTO new Ask Patents beta site: