Correct license for a creative work?

I’m quite satisfied with Github, and I was wondering if it’s appropriate for my next project.

I’ve recently taken up the hobby of creative writing during my downtime. My intention is to publish my work as .pdf files on my profile. Before doing this, I have a few questions.

  1. How can I ensure that while people can read and download the pdf files, they can’t modify or create derivatives based on the work? In other words what licence is appropriate?

Under Licensing a repository - GitHub Docs it states:

You’re under no obligation to choose a license. However, without a license, the default copyright laws apply, meaning that you retain all rights to your source code and no one may reproduce, distribute, or create derivative works from your work.

It clearly states that, with no licence, for source code, the author retains the rights of the project.

I looked into more deeply, and it would seem that CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 is the licence that I require.

  1. If I place the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 in an .md file, and someone forks the repository, does the licence become invalid? Can they create and modify my work?

Also stated in Licensing a repository - GitHub Docs :

Note: If you publish your source code in a public repository on GitHub, according to the Terms of Service, other users of GitHub have the right to view and fork your repository.

I don’t mind the forking (in the context of a .pdf, I don’t see the purpose if the licence prohibits you from doing anything with it other than sharing it) , but I don’t want people to modify and redistribute anything based on my work.

From the Disclaimer:

We hope it helps, but please keep in mind that we’re not lawyers and that we make mistakes like everyone else.

I too am not a lawyer, and I totally understand, I’m attempting to use Github in a way that it wasn’t originally intended.

The easiest answer would be to find a serivce, perhaps Amazon KDP, that’s setup to handle it.

The other answer is to accept the fact that it will be modified and redistributed, and if I want to use Github, roll with it.

My final question, and I may been going into unrealistic territory here, but I’ll ask anyway.

  1. Suppose if a publisher rights to negotiate the rights to my novel (I know, daydreaming can be fun!), would it violate the ToS to place my email address in an file so the publisher can contact me directly? If Github is entitled to a share of any profilt I make (I understand, I’m using Github to host my novel) does it violate the ToS to talk directly to the publisher, or would they need to talk to first talk to Github?

I haven’t posted anything yet (checking my profile can confirm it), not even in private. I just don’t want go down a dark path and get wrapped up in situations I don’t understand.