In March I showed spreads of a book to a local publisher that specializes in that type of book, fly-fishing. Said he loved it, wanted to print several thousand copies and have it ready by the end of April for the start of the fishing season. Was going to feature it prominently at a national fly-fishing gathering in Oregon this August, which it is perfect for as it's a guide to fish the local rivers in that area.
He gave me a contract, I had it looked at and made a few changes, some clarifying and adding specific dates, one an electronic rights royalty, and the most important to me, a clause saying the book had to be printed within a specific period. I highlighted all the changes and gave it back to the publisher, who sat on it. They edited the book, I made the corrections, and we met and agreed on a title change and the addition of a logo. My designer produced the logo. While working on the book the publisher decided he needed to hear from a specific chain store re: their interest and order before publishing.
Meanwhile I was hearing things that made me wonder if an association with this publisher was a good idea. Started looking at founding a publishing co. and publishing the book, and was about to have files converted to ebook format this week, as well as getting it copyrighted, and obtaining an ISBN number. Yesterday I sent the publisher an e-mail saying I was going on my own after June 1.
Was working on pricing and a launch promotion yesterday, and my wife found the book listed for pre-sale online with an ISBN number, and said to be due out in August. It's also listed in at least 3 other locations including the mother of all online sales.
If there isn't a signed contract, is it legal for the publisher do this? We're well past the date he said HE wanted it published, and past the time in the clause I added to the contract, which was never signed, at least not by me. What's the smart move?
News, trends, and the future of publishing
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