Publishing and Rights Question - Please Help!

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bunderful
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Publishing and Rights Question - Please Help!

Post by bunderful » January 21st, 2010, 10:59 am

I have a contract with a publisher dated July 26, 2007 and the terms of the contract was 12 months. I have been continuing with this publisher in the hope that he will eventually publish my cookbook. Now he has made a deal with a second publisher to help him with the graphic design and to try to get it out faster. Meanwhile I am fed up. I want to pull my cookbook and look for a new publisher.

I have spoken to a lawyer and he says that the publisher is in breach of contract and that any claim he makes won't hold up in court. However, I am concerned that no publisher with talk to me because of this previous history and the worry that there is some intellectual property claim or copyright claim by these two other publishers who are involved in the whole process.

Is that true? Do I have to tell a publisher that the book sat for three years somewhere else and I pulled the book from them etc? Will that completely ruin my chances? Is my book just stuck in publishing limbo hell forever?

Does anyone know the answers to these questions?

Help!

Thank you,

Rena

KappaP
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Re: Publishing and Rights Question - Please Help!

Post by KappaP » January 21st, 2010, 11:14 am

did you renew the contract after 12 months? if so, what were the terms?
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bunderful
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Re: Publishing and Rights Question - Please Help!

Post by bunderful » January 21st, 2010, 11:26 am

I have been asking and asking the publisher to renew the contract and he never did, he just kept acting as though it was still valid...

- Rena

KappaP
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Re: Publishing and Rights Question - Please Help!

Post by KappaP » January 21st, 2010, 2:50 pm

Well.... it's not. If you didn't sign anything after the initial contract was signed then you are under no obligation to that publisher. The contract is dead. Technically, he has no rights to be shopping your manuscript anymore and I'd make that clear to him ASAP. This guy sounds Shady with the capital S, so I'd immediately sever the relationship and move on. No contract = no relationship.

Were you represented by an agent beforehand or no? Are you seeking representation now or are you looking for a second publisher without an agent? If you don't have one, I'd suggest getting one-- schemes like this are exactly what agents are on the look out for.

My advice: sever your relationship immediately with this publisher and look for representation. As far as I understand, shopping your book to publishers is a turn off to many agents, but not to all. Chances aren't dashed yet, don't worry, but you do need to get out of this shady deal for your own good.
www.patchesandsara.blogspot.com

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KappaP
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Re: Publishing and Rights Question - Please Help!

Post by KappaP » January 21st, 2010, 2:53 pm

Also, in terms of intellectual property rights-- they are yours and yours alone. IP rights are meant to protect the person who had the idea and fostered it, not the people who are used to bring it to fruition. Your lawyer is correct-- this guy has 100% no claim to anything you've done. You signed a contract, it expired, wasn't renewed. That's that. Intellectual property says the IDEA is yours. That said, if he has supplemented the work in an appreciable way (graphic design, etc) you may not be able to shop those aspects of the work around w/out running into IP issues (since the graphic design, etc, would be someone else's intellectual property).
www.patchesandsara.blogspot.com

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