“If I signed a non-disclosure agreement, can I still write about my ex-boss using a pseudonym?”

Q –

“I’m involved in a lawsuit against my previous employer and I’m about to sign a non-disclosure agreement. I want to write a book about the case using a pseudonym. I can do that, right?”


A –

When you publish a book, you must sign a contract with your publisher, and provide your legal name. You must also provide payment information to the publisher in order to receive your royalties. That includes your social security number, or tax I.D. if you’re from another country. Bottom line is you must disclose your real identity to your publisher in order to be under contract with them. 

If you write about a court case you were involved in, the entity involved in that case will undoubtedly find out about your book. Even if you anonymize the entire story, if anyone can identify any person of firm represented in that book, or figure out which court case it’s about, you can get sued, and so can your publisher. And, all it takes to learn your real identity is a subpoena sent to your publisher, to which they must respond.

If you really feel you MUST write about your experience, my recommendation is to NOT sign a non-disclosure agreement. Of course, that might mean you’ll need to actually go to trial with your case. I doubt they will settle if you don’t sign.

Good luck!

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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

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One Response to "“If I signed a non-disclosure agreement, can I still write about my ex-boss using a pseudonym?”"

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