We received a phone call from our attorney this week. They received a letter from another attorney who said the author of one of our books had signed over 10% of the intellectual property rights to his books to another (someone who called himself an agent) many years ago. We received a copy of the contract from the attorney. It specifically lists book rights, TV rights, and movie rights. This was in exchange for a modest loan the “agent” had given the author. We received a copy of the contract from our attorney. The author (allegedly) never sent any of his royalties to his “agent.”
Here’s the problem. When the author signed our contract, he didn’t tell us somebody else owned 10% of his rights. Thus, he lied when he completed our contract, stating he owned all rights to his work.
It took more than five years for us to learn about this other individual. Here’s where it gets sticky. While the books didn’t sell very well over the years, the author eventually ended up on TV!
Regardless of the potential for book sales that might have come out of that TV series, we have no interest in doing business with someone who (allegedly) lies on a contract, nor one who (allegedly) evades an investor as this author appears to have done.
We also have no interest in having our good name being dragged through the mud along with the author’s and the major TV network (which was also named in the legal papers) that filmed his show, to say nothing of the legal bills that might be incurred. When the TV network finds out they’ve been giving money to someone who promised some of that money to another, that could mean the end of his show, especially if it’s not doing well.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. We were contacted by another individual awhile back who claimed they were promised a percentage of sales by another author. Any time an author gives a percentage of their rights to another, it’s so easy for that person to later locate and contact the publisher if they think they’re being victimized.
If you have an investor, partner, or agent who is owed a percentage of your work, do the right thing. Tell the truth in all your contracts, and involve your investor/partner/agent in decisions regarding ventures to which they own an interest. If you don’t, you could not only end up being forced to pay what you owe them, but you could also be required to pay thousands in interest, as well as legal fees on top of that.
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 lives on a 52' Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch (sailboat) with her family and pets. Keep up with her family's adventurous liveaboard lifestyle at GotNoTanLines.com
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