View Full Version : Letter of Cancellation

09-16-2005, 09:26 AM
Hi all!

Can anyone tell me the format and substance in a letter of cancellation to an agency? Also, do I have to register it somewhere as a proof? Can a letter of cancellation be sent by email?

Thank you.


Andrew Zack
09-16-2005, 04:40 PM
Do you have a written representation agreement?

09-16-2005, 06:28 PM
Thank you for your reply.

Yes, it is a written agreement that I was sent by email. Alas, I only discovered later (right in this forum) that the particular agency should not be trusted. I've lost a small sum of money but my only concern is to free myself from the contract. I received a reply from the kind writer Victoria Strauss as she knew about the agency. I can cancel my contract within 90 days after signing it as the outer letter states:

"Your 'out' is that you can fire us in 90 days if we don't perform or you
don't like our services for any reason. This rarely happens, but it's there
for you if you want it. We are not trying to tie your hands in any way, and
as you will see from the contract, we only get paid if you get paid.

We ask that you snail mail us two copies of the contract. The address is
within the document."

They haven't written the procedure in the mail. I will wait for your reply.


Andrew Zack
09-16-2005, 07:38 PM
The 90-day rule may actually not be enforceable, though you should check with an attorney in your local state. Basically, I'd advise you to send them a certified letter, return receipt requested, saying that you are terminating representation immediately and that they are to immediately cease and desist from all representation activity on your behalf. If they've made submissions on your behalf, they need to provide you a list of those submissions. Most representation agreements--and industry practice--is that you would owe them a commission on any sale from a submission they made.

This is all general information and may not specifically apply to your situation. I am not an attorney and you should consult an attorney if you feel you need legal advice.

Best wishes,

09-16-2005, 08:27 PM
Thank you for your reply.

I have been told that the 90-day rule can be enforced with a certified letter (to be on the safe side). No, they haven't approached any publishers yet because my work hasn't been edited. I have broken all contact with them, and want to know if a certified letter should be sent by email or snail mail.

Thank you.

09-16-2005, 09:01 PM
I don't think you can send a certified letter by email. It's a service you have to pay extra for at the Post Office.

Andrew Zack
09-16-2005, 09:11 PM
Correct. A Certified Letter, Return Receipt Requested, is a service of the USPS.

09-16-2005, 09:13 PM
Thank you for informing me.

I was curious because the agency sent me the contract in the email, and I had to sign it and snail mail it to them.

Andrew Zack
09-21-2005, 05:41 PM
That works, of course, because an unsigned contract is meaningless. Once you signed it, they needed the physical signature. You could have faxed it, but you can't fax the termination letter because you may need proof of delivery. You could FedEx that termination letter and require a signature, but it's more expensive than Certified Mail, RRR.

09-21-2005, 09:36 PM
They haven't written the procedure in the mail.
The procedure is in the contract. Here's the clause, with the relevant sentence in bold (it should be on the first page of the actual contract):

The term of this contract shall be two years from the above date and must be renewed in writing for each successive term. The Writer/Producer may terminate this Agreement after 90 consecutive days of no sale by Agent. Renewals and terminations via email are deemed acceptable.
So you could, if you wanted, cancel by email, but I agree with Andy's recommendation to send a certified cancellation letter via snail mail. Your local post office should have the form you need.

Given the agency in question, it's arguable that the contract isn't valid because it was presented to you under false pretenses (i.e., that the agency was capable of providing effective representation), but it's best to make things official.

- Victoria

09-22-2005, 03:00 PM
Thank you very much.

I found that clause.


09-28-2005, 09:44 PM
I have a similar question, but on the reverse side. The agency that I'd been signed with went out of business and they sent me an email and an attached letter that said they needed to cease operations indefinitely. In the letter, it stated that the letter and email served as a cancelation of my contract. Now, what I want to know is: can I count on this to be true and how long should I wait--if I need to at all--before I can start resubmitting the manuscript the bum agency had signed me on for? Thanks a bunch in advance..

Andrew Zack
09-29-2005, 10:31 PM
Is there some reason to think it's not true? Otherwise, I'd say you are free and clear, though if they owe you information or copies of your books or manuscripts, I'd get right on that request.

09-30-2005, 12:23 AM
No, I'm sure they're being honest with about the cancelation, but since it was an email letter that I received, I wanted to make sure I was okay before submitting the same manuscript to another agent. They did tell me that if I wanted my manuscript returned (free of charge) they would gladly do so. Of course, I told them that I did. Thank you very much for responding! I appreciate it.