One of my favorite contract negotiation stories involves an entertainment lawyer in LA who was reviewing a book publication contract from a Big Ol' NY publisher. The BONY publisher had their usual boilerplate, plus all the stuff the agent had asked for. The lawyer was basically reviewing a done deal.
The lawyer called the VP for contracts and rather stiffly demanded a new clause. "The author's name must be on the cover of the book." The VP was rather astonished the lawyer asked for this, since of course, the author's name is always on the cover. It would be like putting "you must write the book in English" in the contract.
Well, the VP and I have laughed about that story more than once; usually when one of us is being a total nit picker about something. I've told the story myself in talks I've given about book contracts.
And then, today, I discovered via a Tweet from that clever publisher Richard Nash at Softskull Press, that my joke must now be retired.
Here's the cover of one of their new books:
There's an interesting discussion here of how the cover was chosen (and the publisher's initial response)
I'm sorry to lose one of my favorite jokes, but it's interesting to note that with electronic sales venues now, having all the info on the actual book cover might end up going the way of the dodo bird.
By the way, here's the link to Amazon in case you want to know what the book is about!
My pal Lauren over at BiblioBuffet reminded me of a book that needed no title: