Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. It’s just plain old common sense!
We hear this all the time.
“My lawyer says I can’t be sued because everything in my book is true.”
I’m always shocked when I hear this. First of all, anybody can be sued for anything. There’s no shortage of slimy lawyers standing by, ready to file frivolous lawsuits. (There are also good lawyers who won’t stoop to those measures, even for the almighty dollar.)
Second, even if everything in your book is true, proving it all in court could be very difficult, or even impossible. These cases usually devolve into a he said/she said situation.
Third, even if everything in the book is true, and even if you can prove it, you may still have to endure a lengthy trial and the legal fees alone can bankrupt you. Just because you may win in the end doesn’t mean the other side will have to pay your legal fees. In the United States, most losing plaintiffs are not required to pay the winners’ attorney fees. Some exceptions might be if the suit is determined to be frivolous, if a contract specified attorney’s fees, or if a certain lawsuit involves the government. Read about more exceptions HERE.
Any lawyer who says “you can’t be sued” knows all of this…so why do they say it?
Perhaps these are the types of slimy lawyers who not only file frivolous lawsuits, but also make statements to their existing clients that may put them at risk of a future lawsuit. After all, if your lawyer says you can’t be sued, and you do get sued, who’s the first person you’re likely to call (and pay) to represent you? Your lawyer! There are countless cases of lawsuits filed against attorneys who gave bad advice. Of course, if you need to sue your attorney some day, that, too, may turn into a he said/she said situation if you didn’t get the advice in writing.
In my opinion, if any lawyer says “you can’t be sued,” you should consider finding a new attorney.
- Don’t Invite Lawsuits by Real People Featured in Your Book! (Hint: You Can Still Be Sued Even If You Don’t Name Them!)
- Don’t Invite a Lawsuit with Your Memoir
- Boldly Assuming You “Can’t Be Sued” Will Likely Lead to a Lawsuit
- Publishing Other People’s Non-fiction Stories Can Get You Sued!
- Want to Get Sued? Write About Your Ex!
- Am I at Risk of Being Sued?
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE