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Old 07-29-2008, 10:10 PM   #1
Gillhoughly
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Cassie Edwards Changes the Industry

I got in a contract to sign for my next book and was surprised to find an extra page on top in want of my signature.

It was for an insurance policy.

"Your coverage will apply only to any Work published by us (snip).

The broad areas of coverage are libel, invasion of privacy, plagiarism, copyright infringement, and certain forms of unfair competition (snip).

The Policy currently carries a deductible of $250,000.00 per occurrence, which we may share with you as provided in (snip) the (contract).


So I called my agent and asked and it is true: This is a direct result of the activities of Cassie Edwards, Kaavya Viswanathan, James Frey, Gary Brock (AuthorHouse libel suit) and others.

Note that quarter of a million buck deductible one may share with the publisher (like I make even a fraction of that) should one be caught out behaving badly. Ouch. I can't afford the deductible for my car insurance, let alone THIS.

The policy allows for FIVE MILLION in coverage PER OCCURRENCE. Edwards had dozens of those in many of her books. Yow.

So I went over my mental check list to make sure I'd not done anything like that on my MS, and thankfully, it's all made up from my own punkin haid, not no one else's.

Dang, if those blackfooted ferrets ever decided to bring a suit....

Ker-CHING!


Let's be careful out there.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:33 PM   #2
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Yowser! that is so interesting.
5 mil per instance?
Now I wish I'd written something someone wanted to copy - it might be a way to finally make some real money from writing

dang

annie
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.Jones View Post
Yowser! that is so interesting.
5 mil per instance?
Now I wish I'd written something someone wanted to copy - it might be a way to finally make some real money from writing

dang

annie
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.Jones View Post
Yowser! that is so interesting.
5 mil per instance?
Now I wish I'd written something someone wanted to copy - it might be a way to finally make some real money from writing

dang

annie
Don't get your hopes up--the lawyers would get most of it as it dragged on in litigation, and the publisher would get half, but usually they settle for a slap on the wrist to the perp with a give "back the advance" order from the judge.

I better behave. I've not got my advance yet and it's already spent!
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:34 PM   #5
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Footnotes in historicals, anyone?

The subject has come up a few times elsewhere. I keep a list of all my sources and make sure that if I take notes, I take quotes, so that I won't accidentally paraphrase back into the original. (happened to my husband once in a paper, completely unintentionally, and I'm very glad I caught it when I was revviewing his assignment)

I could provide a bibliography or reference page for mine...I wonder if authors might just start doing that in an effort to CYA against insurance claims?
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
I better behave. I've not got my advance yet and it's already spent!
I have my upcoming d&a $, my next advance and if there are any, my fall royalties spent.

Hey, this could be a new form of entertainment; Writer's Poker -I'll see your broke a$$ already spent advance and raise you a bookclub/bestseller bump.

annie

ps
Even though I am working on book #36, the sliver I'd get from a 5 mil payout would be more than I earn a year writing, I'll bet - and I make a living at it

Not too long ago I had about 2 minutes of thinking an author who gets paid way more than I do for writing basically the exact same stuff had plagiarized my work. It was actually sort of thrilling in a 'see, I knew I was being underpublished' sort of way.
I don't think that book did very well for her, though, so my vindication wouldn't have lasted long - that might have stung more than the money could have made up for.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennontheisland View Post
Footnotes in historicals, anyone?

The subject has come up a few times elsewhere. I keep a list of all my sources and make sure that if I take notes, I take quotes, so that I won't accidentally paraphrase back into the original. (happened to my husband once in a paper, completely unintentionally, and I'm very glad I caught it when I was revviewing his assignment)

I could provide a bibliography or reference page for mine...I wonder if authors might just start doing that in an effort to CYA against insurance claims?
You know, I think that's a really smart idea and a practice I think I'll adopt. What's to stop the historical author from submitting (and thereby documenting) a bibliography/reference page? I'd imagine that would spur a great conversation about the topic and decision to include the info in a formal bibliography or just in an afterword (several recent books I've read include a discussion by the author about facts they changed or didn't, etc). If the publisher chooses not to print it then the author has at least done due diligence. Then try gettin' me to split that $250k if there's a problem, heh.
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:45 AM   #8
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Yep. I wouldn't mind seeing a bibliography in some books. Makes me think the writer actually went to some trouble to get things right.

I love the ones in the Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser. I've used the books listed there for my own researches.

Keep in mind that the publisher might leave out those pages as either being unimportant or taking up page space (thus costing more to print).

But research IS very important.

Some years back a romance writer had a full blown pirate ship sailing into a gigantic (but *somehow* hidden) cave near Charleston, SC.

Which, most inconveniently, is mostly sea level marshland, nary a cave for miles. Not even a soggy one.

She should have had the ship hiding out in a quicksand bog instead. Oh wait, that's where I threw the book. Silly me, I didn't think of the pollution factor!
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:29 AM   #9
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Bernard Cornwell (Sharpe's Series, Winter King Trilogy, Stonehenge, etc.) usually does a forward or afterward with historical reference materials, a few book recommendations and such. I enjoy seeing the 'real' historical connections to a good story.

Copyright infringement can be levied at 250,000 dollars PER OCCURENCE. That could be viewed as each book published, not just 'the publication of the work'.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:22 PM   #10
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Edwards wrote a LOT of books.

Signet severed their contract with her, and they're apparently going to leave it at that. It could be compassion for a writer who made them a lot of cash, or the fact that a court case would be too costly in money and bad press. However much we hate plagiarism it doesn't look good for a house to be seen beating up a 71 y.o. in court.

She better count her blessings. She could have lost EVERYTHING.

Oh, yeah--I saw her latest release in the megamart the other day. Signet's evidently going to try getting their advance back via sales, but I wonder if they did a hasty re-edit looking for questionable passages.

I did a quick flip-through to see if I could spot some, but as with all my previous attempts, her writing was so bloody awful I couldn't take more than a few paragraphs before my gag reflex kicked in.

But I'm AM trying hard to keep in mind that many of her fans really don't give a rat's patoot about the scandal. My own sister reads her stuff and shrugged it off when I told her about things. All she wants is a bit of mind candy to help her fall asleep at the end of the day. To her, one writer is the same as another.

I can't believe we share the same genes, but there IS the family resemblance.

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Old 08-19-2008, 08:46 AM   #11
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I've never read Cassie Edwards. I've got one of her books on my shelf, but after reading a review site that gave all of her books that they reviewed an F, I've been too hesitant to waste my time on it.

It's funny though, we were talking about James Frey today in my creative writing class.
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:37 PM   #12
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Bernard Cornwell (Sharpe's Series, Winter King Trilogy, Stonehenge, etc.) usually does a forward or afterward with historical reference materials, a few book recommendations and such. I enjoy seeing the 'real' historical connections to a good story.
Jack Whyte too. With those guys the discussion about reference material is almost as good as their stories.
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