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KC Sunshine
08-08-2008, 12:39 AM
Has anyone here ever had a dispute with a publisher? I've noticed a lot of writers who have their first novel published by one publisher and then their second by another. I understand this can be due to how the first book performed in the market (and that some writers also stay with the same publisher their whole careers) but I was just wondering if anyone had any horror stories about how publishers have treated them.

willietheshakes
08-08-2008, 12:41 AM
I've heard some. A number, actually. And not all from first time novelists. But they're not mine to tell.

KC Sunshine
08-08-2008, 01:02 AM
I find the closer I get to possibly being published the more scared of publishers I am.

willietheshakes
08-08-2008, 01:06 AM
I don't think there's cause for fear -- sure, some people have had bad treatment, and some people have had shitty situations, but

a) they aren't in the majority and, perhaps more significantly,
b) blame is often a two-way street.

scope
08-08-2008, 01:10 AM
That's one reason why writer's have agents and/or intellectual rights attorneys. As much as any writer may know it's hell trying to make sense of and have a complete understanding of all included in a publishing contract.

KC Sunshine
08-08-2008, 01:13 AM
Thanks Scope. I'd be lost without my agent telling me what to do. It's funny how one minute you're writing a book, then all of a sudden you have to learn about this whole business side- it's a bit daunting.

scope
08-08-2008, 01:24 AM
KC,

You are right, and while writer's don't have to be experts with respect to the business side of publishing, I think it's critical that they at least have some basic knowledge of same, especially as their tenure in the industry increases. Unfortunately, many writer's pay no attention to same, and that's just not too good.

CheshireCat
08-08-2008, 01:43 AM
Lots of reasons for a writer to change publishers, and few of them have anything to do with a "dispute" situation.

Most common, in my experience, is either that sales of the first book weren't strong, or else the acquiring editor changes houses or titles and the writer no longer has an advocate in-house.

In commercial genre fiction, you also have lines folding or cutting back on the number of books published, or imprints failing to find an audience, or just a change of direction ordered by the suits upstairs.

If a big-name author changes houses, odds are good that money and/or clout was at the bottom of it. In my experience, at least.