Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I know there's more to this story, but it still made me laugh

Two authors are suing Gotham Books (part of the Penguin Group) for breach of contract. The news article with a description of the suit is here.

This is the paragraph that caught my attention:

"Branch and Callaway allege Penguin breached their contract by failing to properly promote the book (including by failing to inform them that their publicist had left and their book tour had been canceled) and allowing it to be sold in discounted and bulk outlets without their permission.

The complaint describes significant tension between Branch and Gotham Publisher William Shinker, who “expressed his irritation with plaintiffs through the use of expletive-laced speech” and argues that in that regard, “Penguin’s actions were motivated by personal antipathy to plaintiffs, as exhibited repeatedly by Shinker, and by a desire to work on a similar project, or projects, with Keogh.”



Man oh man, I want to see their contract! I'm clearly not doing my job since every single contract I've negotiated not only allows discounted and "bulk outlet" (ie big box store) sales, it specifies the royalties to be received.

And I want notice when any person who works on my book has left the company!

And I've got to get that "no expletives" clause in my next contracts. Oh wait. The PUBLISHING contract only; if it's in the author/agency contract, I'm ....ahem...fucked.

20 comments:

Kristin Laughtin said...

While I'd be pretty upset if my publicist just left and I wasn't informed and my book tour was canceled, I'm a bit surprised that they're upset about it being sold in bulk outlet stores. Wouldn't it, in theory, help your sales if your book was everywhere?

(Sure, the royalties are probably less, but if you end up selling a significantly greater number of copies than you would have otherwise because people can get the book cheaper, you'd end up making more money in the end.)

laughingwolf said...

is that any better than 'screwed', janet? :O lol

Scott said...

Thanks for the laugh.

Flavio Q Crunk said...

Ha hA!!

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

O.o !!! You said a really, really naughty word .... Did you know there are about 90 or so really naughty phrases and words in Welsh? That is if you include the verb forms?

Want me to "say" one? I always thought that "paid รข chodi pais wedi pisio" was good advice, though crudely phrased.

Kat Harris said...

Gasp! The mother of all swears!

Janet you're such a potty mouth.

:-)

jimnduncan said...

Has a major publisher ever had a contract that requires author permission for discount sales? This sounds like a bad case of sour grapes, but it will be curious to see what the acutal details in all of this is.

Laura said...

You know, I see this all of the time-- a good lawsuit turned into a joke by adding extraneous bits that are personally motivated.

They have a good case on the publicist bit, but the explicative allegation that basically reads "They did this because they're big meanies and HATE us!" ruins their credibility a bit.

Jane Smith said...

My Welsh mother has always insisted there's no ruder word than "mouchin" (phonetic spelling there, as I could never get her to write it down for me and I only sing in Welsh, I don't read or speak it). But then I've always thought that Fachynlleth sounded rude, and I've not even been there.

Cicily Janus said...

No Expletives? #$*!&*#*@^$TYIGW$%^&!(*# WTF? :) Wow. These delusionals...

BuffySquirrel said...

Who are these Audrey and Jackie people?

DebraLSchubert said...

Janet, you said a bad word (tee-hee). I like you better now.

Cardinal said...

Now that Janet has said the dreaded f-word, she can read my cop fiction now. (Yeah, as if I could get that lucky!)

Jo said...

Jane Smith- my auntie is from Cregrina in Wales. We used to make up tons of limericks about it. It's sheep country out there.

Matt said...

That does sound like an F-ing good contract. Do you get a bowl of green M&M's in your dressing room with that?

Helen DeWitt said...

The last time I negotiated a contract I specified that a working group list of everyone responsible for implementing its provisions should be drawn up, and that the list should be updated in the event of a change in relevant staff. In effect that did require them to notify me if someone working on the book left the company, though its purpose was to ensure that those working on the book were aware of their contractual obligations.

Janet Reid said...

Helen, just out of curiosity, what was on that working group list of everyone responsible for implementing the contract?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I know a really rude, more than a little crude, thingie about sheep and Scotsmen (my pet Scotsman told it to me.) If you insert Welshman, instead of Scotsman, you get the same effect.

What do you call a Scotsman (or Welshman. Depends on who’s telling, doesn’t it?) with a sheep under one arm and a goat under the other?

Oh ... and I resurrected my old Wardancingpixie.blogspot.com blog.

Julie Weathers said...

Oh, can I have a clause about not being cursed at by an editor?

I'm delicate...like a flower.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

a cluase? hummm yes. have this one; it's free: , who looked exactly like a goat but wasn't, .

Or this one: "mean as a zebra in heat." (on second thought, you can't have that one. I'm using it in Whore of Babylon Beach.)

But you can have: "Whose name was Tabitha even if everyone called her Billy.