I signed a contract with a book publisher in August 2012, and I haven't heard from them since. What can I do?
5 attorney answers
I don't know if they ever signed the contract. Maybe you can find a business lawyer for a free consult. A lawyer's letter will get them off square one to explain their current intentions.
What you can do is see a copyright attorney, who can review the contract to see about termination and if you have reasonable right of termination (or, likely, even if none is expressed) the attorney can contact the publisher and get a response by threatening termination and legal action. Publishers tend to take notice when attorneys call, especially if the attorneys are active on Writer's Market www.writersmarket.com as there the publisher's reputation can be severely impacted in a way that will hurt them if they don't get on the stick. Publishers do not like being embarrassed to their peers, particularly be attorneys that agents respect. I am a member and there are many copyright attorneys that use Writers' Market similarly to good effect. It is not the same if a non-attorney complains to their peers, as like it or not we have cred and you are someone they do not know or trust.
I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.
You need to find an attorney who understands book publishing contracts to review it, see what your options are, and possibly make contact with the publisher. Of course, it would have been better to have gotten an attorney before signing the contract as I am sure there are provisions favorable to you that could have been included.
I would advise you to try and find a lawyer who will at least offer you an initial consultation on this matter free of charge. This is what I do in my practice, as do many of my colleagues.
The contract you signed will be key in determining what your potential remedies may be.
Take your contract to a local business attorney and have them read and review the contract. They can advise you of your rights and remedies as provided under the contract.
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