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Rumour Has It…

Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

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OK, it’s not really a rumour, but I’m reliably informed that things aren’t going so great for The Dishing Diva’s new e-pub, Lyrical Press.

According to my sources, there have been questions raised about Lyrical’s publishing contract. Questions which apparently, aren’t being answered as comprehensively as they could be.

It’s also been alleged that LC’s contracts are a carbon copy of Samhain’s, with a few changes here and there.
Well, you know what they say about imitation being the best form of flattery…

I’m starting to feel a little sorry for Renee Rocco, I hope this endeavour is worth all the hassle in the end.

I blame Gisele Bundchen.

17 Comments »

  • I blame Gisele Bundchen.

    Me too, dammit! Nobody should be beautiful AND be fucking a funny, gorgeous, 6’4″ professional athlete! Think we can blame global warming on her, too?

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  • Poor Gisele. Is she to become to the Patriots, what Jessica Simpson has become to the Cowboys? A bad luck charm? LOL

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  • Debra
    February 5
    6:02 pm

    Actually I would not say carbon copy as she has borrowed heavily from Dark Eden’s contract with my permission. She has also used a few clauses from Samhain because they have a very good, and airtight from what I see, contract. When she was done, she took it to her lawyer, who then fixed a few things, and added some more clauses.

    I love your blog Karen, but dammit can we please move on to some good gossip that actually has some meat and truth to it?

    Debra

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  • Hmm, I thought she said rumor has it… šŸ˜›

    And I’m still sad about the Pats, sigh.

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  • ” When she was done, she took it to her lawyer, who then fixed a few things, and added some more clauses.”

    And one would hope that authors, when they receive said contract, will take it to their attorney, have their attorney fix a few things and remove a few clauses, etc. šŸ˜‰

    There is really no such thing as an air tight contract, and any contract a publisher would consider air tight and good is likely not so good from the perspective of the author which is why in publishing, the presentation of a contract should be viewed as an opening of negotiations rather than the end of negotiations.

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  • Debra
    February 5
    11:13 pm

    I would certainly hope any author would have their lawyer, any lawyer, look it over. Any author that doesnt is making a mistake.

    Things are always open for negotiation, or should be anyway, and if they were not I would be worried.

    As far as saying it was airtight, I have seen Samhain’s contract and that thing would be hard for any author to get out of, no offense meant. But they do have a good contract in that they spell out what is theirs, what will remain theirs, what they are entitled to, and what the authors rights are.

    The contract Dark Eden has is heavy on author friendly and not so heavy on publisher friendly actually. I have been told this by my lawyer, quite a few authors, and a few industry people who insist that I need to change it to DEP’s favor. I have refused and will continue to refuse. My opinion is this…if you dont like it at DEP and dont want to be here, why would I keep you here? You would only make me and my authors miserable and bring morale down.

    Debra
    DEP

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  • Frank Rocco, Lyrical Press, Inc.
    February 5
    11:29 pm

    After reading this, it’s time I’ve spoken up. This rumor is wrong. Lyrical Press, Inc. is actually doing great. We have one author already on his way to print and other projects in the works that will be distributed to major book-chains.

    Regarding our contract, we spent over two days negotiating with one author, answering every question she had. One author signed and delivered her contract on 1/25/08 and we let her have the rights back to her book 2/3/08. We allowed another author to withdraw three books and we have remained on friendly terms with them both. Those two authors asked to be released because they weren’t happy with the length of time their books would have been contracted with us. If we were out to hurt authors we wouldn’t have released them and stayed on good terms with them. We believe authors should be happy and their books safe and we’re willing to do everything within our power to see that they are.

    And before you put up another post, like we know you’re going to, about us losing two authors common sense says that all publishing houses hit snags, including losing authors.

    As for us “borrowing” from Dark Eden, we’re very appreciative of Debra’s support and friendship.

    And Karen, if you ever want to talk to my wife and I regarding our company in a professional manner, you can always contact us at publisher@lyricalpress.com.

    Frank Rocco

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  • Anonymous
    February 6
    1:48 am

    Karen, if you ever want to talk to my wife and I regarding our company in a professional manner…

    Sometimes the best response is no response at all. I know many publishers who hit snags but the difference between them and LP is they kept their own counsel and didn’t need to post a reply to EVERY blog post about them.

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  • Anon
    February 6
    2:14 am

    You know, it is certainly true that publishers and authors will have disagreements and part. But to have two ditch out before you even open? Not a good sign.

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  • writerdish
    February 6
    2:25 am

    Well, I don’t know. I know the two authors that left DSP or LSP, whatever they’re calling themselves these days, because I’ve been keeping up with the website changes and stuff like that. Both authors seem to be keeping silent about their leaving and it’s not a lack of me trying to get gossip out of them. One author left and has been silent about what happened so I really don’t know the story there, but I know that a series called “The Alliance” belongs to her (how I know? It’s been on her website for weeks now) and it’s still on the website as another author’s work! They aren’t even open yet and already they’re ‘taking’ people’s work. *sigh*

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  • That is a serious accusation, and if true, seriously uncool.

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  • Debra,

    What gives me concern on blogs is when I see statements like this, “But they do have a good contract in that they spell out what is theirs, what will remain theirs, what they are entitled to, and what the authors rights are.” Authors interpret that to mean they are getting a fair shake or don’t have to be as concerned, because this “house is “better that way.” Friendlier. Nicer. Pick a warm fuzzy adjective of your choice When in reality, the first part of your statement is the one that should be observed very closely by every author considering submitting anywhere, “that thing would be hard for any author to get out of”. That is more the reality of the situation. As a publisher, you should be impressed by that. An author should not be so much impressed as wary.

    Do I believe Samhain’s contract is very upfront in what they demand? Sure. All half way intelligent publishing contracts are that way. After all, it’s the house that draws up the documents. Do I believe they are equally up front and even handed about what they give back in return and clarify the clauses that pertain to the author’s rights and the “options” some of those clauses give them through industry standard interpretation? No. And it’s not a publisher’s job to do that. It’s the authors job to spend the time and money necessary to uncover that information for themselves. Before they sign.

    Samhain has good PR online. A credit to the companies marketing plan, and many readers love them. This is very good and a sign of a smartly run company. However, it does not behoove authors signing with any publisher to buy into the marketing image of the company and ignore the reality that when that contract is handed to them they need to know what they are signing otherwise they could easily find themselves giving away a heck of a lot more rights than they ever intended through clauses they never saw coming.

    It’s common sense and seems so basic, but as we’ve seen over the last couple years in the series of scandals an closures, not an approach always followed. *sigh*

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  • Well, this is just one SP author speaking, but my agent reviewed my contract with them before I signed and we both agreed it was definitely an author friendly contract.

    I’d say it was an ‘equal opportunity’ contract, protecting both the author and the publisher.

    I’m not getting into the LSP deal but I’d caution any, every, all authors signing any contract, any where, for anything, make sure you read it and understand it first. The length of the contract, the royalties, all the fine print, every last detail.

    Not doing so is bad, bad, bad…

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  • I agree with Shiloh. Having a lawyer or agent review it is best, but if that isn’t possible, at least go over it with a fine-toothed comb yourself. If you have a question, ask.

    If the publisher seems to have a problem with you asking questions – either they’re rude, defensive, evasive, etc – then that should be a big honking red flag.

    And if you aren’t comfortable, for the love of god don’t sign it.

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  • writerdish
    February 6
    5:48 am

    Yah shiloh is right. I am not gonna get sucked into this one too…the truth is all this drama is giving me a headache.I’m gonna go back to digging into other people’s publishing and try helping out as much as I can. I wish Renee and Frank (hope I spelt those right) all the best in what they do.

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  • I realize that Gisele comes across as a bitch, but the poor girl is going to get a complex. Tom will have to buy her more flowers.

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  • Iā€™d caution any, every, all authors signing any contract, any where, for anything, make sure you read it and understand it first. The length of the contract, the royalties, all the fine print, every last detail.

    And if you don’t understand something, for the love of God, find an attorney who specializes in Intellectual Property. If you are unclear as to what you’re signing, DON’T SIGN IT.

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