Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lost in Translation

I opened my email to exciting news yesterday. The Turkish agent I've been talking to about rights for Being Human emailed me a draft of the contract. The contract isn't long and it's pretty easy to understand. Only two sections I have questions about.

But there is a big problem, very big.

I don't know if the contract contains all the right info or everything it should. What if it's missing a vital piece of information that protects my book? I am not an agent or a lawyer so I have no idea. And being self published I don't have any agent connections. There is no one I can suck up to and have them take a look. Emailing agents doesn't seem to be working either. Out of the dozen or so I've emailed initially, only one sent me an impersonal rejection. Agents tend to trash emails that don't follow their guidelines so my unusual request isn't seen. Even if I emailed in all caps I HAVE A TURKISH PUBLISHER WHO WANTS MY BOOK AND HAS GIVEN ME A CONTRACT the email still might get trashed because it's not following submission. I did have one agent reply with useful information and she said Turkish contracts are relatively simple so it's possible I could get by without an agent.

I'm not really looking to negotiate. What I've been offered is pretty much what I expected to be offered. I just want someone who knows what a foreign rights book contract looks like to give it a once over and tell me if everything is there. And given what I've been offered, I don't want to spend all that on fees that a lawyer would probably charge. Not to mention that where I live it's doubtful any of the lawyers would have the faintest idea on what a foreign book contract should contain. I emailed the Turkish agent with my questions about the contract and I'm sure I will have a reply tomorrow. The agent has been very quick to reply back with answers to my questions. Still, I want all my bases covered. Better safe than sorry, right?

11 comments:

  1. No idea if this will be helpful, but

    http://www.rachellegardner.com/2010/11/answering-questions-on-contracts-part-2-of-2/,

    http://www.rachellegardner.com/2010/11/publishing-contracts/,

    http://www.rachellegardner.com/2010/05/whats-in-a-publishing-contract/


    Rachelle is an agent with a great blog, and she answers personal questions via e-mail too. I know cuz I sent one ^_^. Of course, it'd be generic advise, since she doesn't know the particulars (and no, she doesn't do YA).

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    1. Kind of sorta because I'm dealing w/ foreign rights which has some differences. Thanks for the links though. Will check her out.

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  2. What exciting news! If you want, you could try consulting a lawyer who specialises in the publishing industry?

    J.C. Martin
    A to Z Blogger

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    1. I've looked into that. There are no local lawyers that specialize in publishing. Have contacted someone a friend mentioned. She works in medical malpractice (also is a writer lol) and she offered to look at the contract. So that's something. lol

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  3. Best wishes with your new venture. i hope you find the answers you are seeking.

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  4. Hello, Patricia! Congratulations! This is exciting news. You do what you must to make sure you're receiving fair and proper treatment as an author and for your novel. Best of luck!!

    Have a great weekend and happy A to Z!!

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  5. I wish I knew anything about contracts, or knew an agent I could direct you to. I'm so excited for you, and I hope you're able to figure everything out, and that you're happy with the outcome!

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  6. Good luck on your book. Hope you can find someone to help you with it.

    Peace,
    Morgan

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  7. I hope it works out for you as expected...

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  8. Hey Patricia! I was just lucky enough to sit in while a panel of agents, etc., addressed a writers' guild in NYC this afternoon, and one of the women who spoke was Sheila Levine, a lawyer who specializes in publishing and contracts. I asked if you could please contact her with your international contract questions and she gave me her card! 130 West 42nd Street, 12th floor, NY, NY 10036 (212)866-5353, (212)382-0320 sheillev(at)aol(dot)com.

    In case you haven't somehow figured all your contract questions out :) Hope this helps!!

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    1. Thanks! Looks like I got everything figured out, but I'll keep this info close just in case.

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