What do you mean by limited naming rights?

Stated simply, this means the author reserves the right to have the final say whether a name will be used. Remember that it will be the author’s name on the front cover of the book. And it means the author retains all proprietary rights to the book and the series. Please see the page entitled “Legal” for an explanation of the proprietary rights the author retains.

There are three ways you can name a character or other subject. 1. You can choose to retain the name the author chose as a working name for the character or non-character subject. 2. You can purchase the limited naming rights to a character or non-character subject at the stated price for the name and then work with the author to find a name you and the author like. 3. You can suggest a specific name for a specific character or other subject to the author and name a price you are willing to pay in order to give that name to him, her or it, which offer the author will either accept or reject.

If you choose method number 2 above, when you make your payment you are allowed a fifteen day period, starting the day after the vendor receives your payment in full, in which to work out a name for your character with the author. During this time no one else can name your character or other subject even though you haven’t yet finalized with the author a name for him/her/it. You can propose names to the author until you find one you both like. The author will work with you to come up with one. The author even may, at his discretion, provide you with additional scenes in which your character, etc., appears in order to help you get a better sense of your subject.

If in the allotted fifteen days you are unable to choose a name you and the author agree upon, seventy percent of your payment will be refunded to you. (Thirty percent of your payment is non-refundable. A percentage of the non-refundable amount is a handling fee. It goes to the vendor. The balance, which goes to the author, is charged to discourage people from deliberately, with no intention of actually working with the author to find a mutually acceptable name, tying up the rights to the name so no one else has a chance to claim them.)

The guidelines below may help you to predict in advance whether the author will accept a particular name you may wish to propose.

Generally, the author will reject:
1. any name which does not meet with his personal standard for decency.
2. any name he believes denigrates any group or individual on the basis of race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation or religious practice and conviction.
3. any name of a public figure, public institution or cultural icon, unless it is the legal name of the individual proposing the name.
4. any name of a prominent character in another science fiction or fantasy series.
5. any name which is badly unsuitable to the book or the series for artistic reasons. The more prominent the character or other subject you are naming, the more important the artistic considerations will be to the author.

Generally, the author will accept:
a name which is the legal name of the individual who has purchased the naming rights. But, once again, artistic considerations will carry more weight in deciding whether to approve a proposed name for a very prominent character than they will for a less prominent one.

Note that the working familiar names the author has chosen for female characters all end in a vowel, usually i or a. The working familiar names the author has chosen for male characters all end in a consonant, often an n or m. You don’t have to follow this rule for your character name to be accepted. But it will count in favor of the name you select if you do follow it.