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Jewely
10-17-2011, 02:26 AM
I’m hoping to get advice from more experienced authors. I am sending out query letters to agents. My current publisher has first rights to my next novel (which is the novel I’m seeking representation for) upon mutually satisfying terms. In the query letter should I state this information or wait for interest from the agent first? Also, if possible, I don’t want to work with my current publisher again. I'm hoping an agent can advise me on the best route to go.
Thanks for the help.

Cyia
10-17-2011, 03:18 AM
First rights or first right of refusal? They're not the same thing. First rights is the first publication while first right of refusal means they get to look at new stuff first, as specified in a contract AFAIK (not a lawyer).

Either way, you'll have to tell prospective agents because if there's a publisher with dibs on your next project then it seriously limits the agents submission pool.

Jewely
10-17-2011, 03:59 AM
Thanks for replying. The contract states "Author grants the publisher an exclusive option to acquire the next work for publication on mutually satisfying terms. If within 30 days following submission of work to the publisher, publisher and author are unable in good faith to agree upon terms of publication, author shall be free to submit work to other publishers."

Adrianna Burch
10-17-2011, 04:37 AM
I'd wait those 30 days and then start submitting it with no strings attached. You have no choice anyway. If you've sent it to agents but the publisher decides to take it before the 30 days, then you signed a conctract, you pretty much have to (although there is that mutually satisfying terms bit for a loophole).

Either way, I suggest you wait.

kaitie
10-17-2011, 05:42 AM
Actually, I'm under the impression that there is no requirement with first rights of refusal. The publisher gets first dibs, but even if they offer a contract the author can still walk away.

Paul
10-18-2011, 02:26 AM
I'm voting 'Wait the 30 days'. Or tell the publisher upfront and get an email confirming your release from that contract.

But submitting and mentioning 'glitches' is a no no.

Stacia Kane
10-19-2011, 10:55 PM
I’m hoping to get advice from more experienced authors. I am sending out query letters to agents. My current publisher has first rights to my next novel (which is the novel I’m seeking representation for) upon mutually satisfying terms. In the query letter should I state this information or wait for interest from the agent first? Also, if possible, I don’t want to work with my current publisher again. I'm hoping an agent can advise me on the best route to go.

Thanks for the help.


I'm curious. Is the novel you're querying second in a series, or a sequel to the first? Or is it totally unrelated.

Either way, they have the right of first refusal (otherwise known as an option), as has been pointed out, not "first rights." But you know that now. :)

Have you submitted the book to them? The thirty days only begins once you've subbed it to them, and once they make an offer there's no set time limit on how long it may take to reach "mutually satisfactory terms." So waiting thirty days and then submitting to agents really isn't going to make a difference, unless they actually turn down the book inside that period of time.

You don't want to go with the publisher again, so it's not the hugest deal in the world, really; you just turn them down. But you'll want to check and see what if anything the contract says about the option book, because some contracts specify, frex, that if you take it to another publisher they have to offer you a better deal than the first, i.e. you can't say "Publisher Y's terms weren't acceptable" when Publisher X actually offered you essentially the same terms, and you took it.

You don't say what publisher it is or what type of publisher, of course, so it's hard to say for sure how an agent is going to feel about it.





I'd wait those 30 days and then start submitting it with no strings attached. You have no choice anyway. If you've sent it to agents but the publisher decides to take it before the 30 days, then you signed a contract, you pretty much have to (although there is that mutually satisfying terms bit for a loophole).

Either way, I suggest you wait.


I'd certainly try to get out of the option before submitting, but I'm curious as to what the publisher thinks of this. Do they want to keep you? Have you considered submitting something else to the publisher just to fulfill the option? Have you explained to them that you'd like to move on, and seen if perhaps they'll drop the option clause?

Again, the thirty days only matters if you've submitted the book to the publisher already. And check the rest of the wording on the option clause to see if there are any restrictions on it. :)


But generally, Kaitie is correct. I'm not sure where or when this silly idea that an option clause means "You are forced to publish your next book with us" got started, but it is indeed silly. No one can force you to sign a publishing contract with them.


Actually, I'm under the impression that there is no requirement with first rights of refusal. The publisher gets first dibs, but even if they offer a contract the author can still walk away.

Jewely
10-21-2011, 05:29 AM
Thanks for responding Stacia.
The next novel is not part of a series. It stands alone. This is a traditional publisher. But I think they are having financial troubles. They have not been meeting deadlines on printing their novels for the past six months but have released the novels on eBook. Also, since this summer they have not been returning emails (not just mine but other authors as well) and only answered the phone once. So communication is almost zero. That being said the contract states "within 30 days following submission outline of work to publisher, author and publisher are unable to agree upon terms for publication, author shall be free to submit work to other publishers." I'm concerned that if they don't reply, how can I receive a decline and get released? Is no response legal proof of a decline?

Adrianna Burch
10-21-2011, 05:48 AM
A lack of response is being unable to agree to terms. I mean if they don't even send any, there's no way to agree.

Little Ming
10-21-2011, 10:08 PM
Thanks for responding Stacia.
The next novel is not part of a series. It stands alone. This is a traditional publisher. But I think they are having financial troubles. They have not been meeting deadlines on printing their novels for the past six months but have released the novels on eBook. Also, since this summer they have not been returning emails (not just mine but other authors as well) and only answered the phone once. So communication is almost zero. That being said the contract states "within 30 days following submission outline of work to publisher, author and publisher are unable to agree upon terms for publication, author shall be free to submit work to other publishers." I'm concerned that if they don't reply, how can I receive a decline and get released? Is no response legal proof of a decline?

This is concerning. Have you checked out the publisher's thread in the Bewares Forum (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22). You might get more information there about if your publisher is in trouble.

Good luck.