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MarkEsq
04-25-2013, 07:37 PM
I'm planning to auction off a couple of character names, for fun or charity, kind of a raffle where people can enter and if they win I use their name (and maybe likeness) in my mystery series.

Has anyone done this, and if so have you had them sign a waiver/disclaimer of any sort? Anyone have other thoughts on doing this?

Cella
04-25-2013, 07:50 PM
ha! I've never heard of this being done but it sounds like a fun idea.

Could they have the option of coming up with a name they like, if they didn't want their own being used?

KTC
04-25-2013, 07:57 PM
Every July in Huntsville, Ontario, there's the Muskoka Novel Marathon. I think this is its 11th year (?). I have participate in 5 marathons. 30 writers get together for 72 hours and we each write a full novel. And hilarity and tears and struggle and joy and sorrow and chaos ensue. We are fed non-stop. All we have to do is show up and write for 72 hours. AND collect sponsorship pledges. The money goes to the local literacy efforts. In 10/11 years (?) we have raised $65,000 for literacy!

A LOT of the writers make the donations interesting by offering up:

1. Your pet
2. Your name
3. A family member
4. The family name
etc, etc, etc

to appear in their novel for a fee.

Nobody has ever offered (or asked for) any kind of waiver. BUT--having said that, Canada is far less litigious than U.S.A.

I like to ask people if they would like to be a body in my latest novel. They will die a gruesome death. It will only cost them $50 for me to kill them. (-:

Here's the website if anyone is curious:

http://www.muskokanovelmarathon.com/

2 of my 3 published novels are MNM works---Sebastian's Poet was written in 48hrs and The Reasons was written in 72hrs.

I won Best Novel Award in the marathon 4 times. And I have killed and maimed several people in the name of literacy. (-:

DeleyanLee
04-25-2013, 08:08 PM
A friend of mine regularly uses real people's names in her books. We all offer them, free of disclaimers or fees, because we enjoy her books. She often tells us that she needs a name and we toss them at her until she decides which one sounds right.

In the many books she's published, some version of my name has been the hero's sidekick, four people killed gruesomely (I enjoy those best), the town slut (who also dies gruesomely), and the uber-villain behind the scenes. It's great fun to see how she uses it, and to see people we know showing up in the pages.

It would never occur to me to have to pay for this, honestly. But if people are willing to, go for it. I'd think that the act of bidding/paying for the privilege would imply consent--wouldn't it?

MarkEsq
04-25-2013, 10:04 PM
It would never occur to me to have to pay for this, honestly. But if people are willing to, go for it. I'd think that the act of bidding/paying for the privilege would imply consent--wouldn't it?

You are absolutely right, but (a) I'm a lawyer, and (b) I'm in America. :)

I'm actually thinking of making the waiver itself part of my presentation, which means it will be funny.

Here's the waiver the winner(s) will sign:

-----
On May 19, 2013, I took part in a raffle at BookPeople in Austin, and even though I complain about never winning anything, my name was picked.


I therefore acknowledge that my mildly egocentric desire to see my name in a novel is being realized. To be clear, I entered this contest because I actively want my name and physical likeness to appear in one of the Hugo Marston books.


I also agree to the following:


-- the character who is given my name might be a murderer, a masochist, a priest, or a pervert. Or, all four.

-- the character who is given my name might appear just once in the novel, or may become a recurring character.
-- the character who is given my name might be killed off as soon as he or she appears; I agree that this does NOT mean the author wishes to kill me off and I will not take it personally if the character who is given my name is shot, stabbed, smothered, skewered, or otherwise made dead.


Furthermore, I agree to give up all control over my fictional appearance. The character who is given my name may be beautiful, ugly, tall, short, fat or thin. He or she may be a snappy dresser, a slob, or even wear clothes normally associated with the opposite sex. Or a nudist.



Additionally, if I win and I have a silly name, I give unconditional permission to the author and his characters to make fun of it. If I don't have a silly name, the author or his characters may still make fun of it.



In summary, I entered this raffle voluntarily and with the sole intention of giving my name to Mark Pryor to use as he sees fit in any number of his Hugo Marston novels. If I decide later that I do not wish my name to be used, I appreciate that it is at the sole discretion of the author whether or not to stop using that name.


Finally, I understand and agree that if a block-buster movie is made, I do not automatically get to play the character who is given my name, but will have to attend a casting call like everyone else.

MaryMumsy
04-26-2013, 12:08 AM
I like this, Mark. How much are the raffle tickets? Who gets the money? Do you have to be present to win? When I win, can I use a variant of my maiden name, which would be suitable for settings in Paris?

MM

MarkEsq
04-26-2013, 12:17 AM
I like this, Mark. How much are the raffle tickets? Who gets the money? Do you have to be present to win? When I win, can I use a variant of my maiden name, which would be suitable for settings in Paris?

MM

Actually, I was just going to (literally) pass the hat around at the launch of my next book, at BookPeople (http://www.bookpeople.com/event/mysterypeople-presents-mark-pryor-crypt-thief). I think 50 people are already signed up to come, so I'd have them drop a post-it with their name in the hat and pick out a couple of people.

Now you HAVE to come to Austin. :)

juniper
04-26-2013, 12:18 AM
Yes, I've heard of this before, not sure if I can pull up any sources. Sounds like a fun way to raise money for a cause. I'll bet people would pay more to be a bad guy than a goody two-shoes.

You could expand it beyond the bookstore signing, with your facebook page or blog or whatever you have, if you have. Paypal could handle the money part. But the bookstore thing sounds fun.

James D. Macdonald
04-26-2013, 12:36 AM
It's called "Tuckerization," and it a pretty common charity fund-raising prize.

juniper
04-26-2013, 01:40 AM
It's called "Tuckerization,"

Mmm, why?

MaryMumsy
04-26-2013, 02:31 AM
Actually, I was just going to (literally) pass the hat around at the launch of my next book, at BookPeople (http://www.bookpeople.com/event/mysterypeople-presents-mark-pryor-crypt-thief). I think 50 people are already signed up to come, so I'd have them drop a post-it with their name in the hat and pick out a couple of people.

Now you HAVE to come to Austin. :)

Sorry, trips to Texas (or anywhere else) are not in my immediate future. Aged, infirm MIL. My aged, infirm Dad, who lives with us.

Some day I want to make an extended trip to Texas, tracking down as much info as I can on my ancestors. It would have been so much easier when I lived there during high school.

MM

MaryMumsy
04-26-2013, 02:34 AM
Mmm, why?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuckerization

MM

Stacia Kane
04-26-2013, 03:03 AM
I did this a few years ago. It was a contest to publicize the release of the third Downside book and the prize was You Get To Be A Character In The Fourth Downside book.

My disclaimer/statement wasn't as official or as witty as Mark's, but there was one. First I mentioned several times in bold type that I might use your name for any character, in any way; you might be a murder victim or a prostitute or a junkie or a murderer or a friend of somebody or whatever, so be aware before entering that you are giving me permission to use your name for whatever sort of character, and in whatever way, I wish. So don't enter unless that's okay with you. I did several posts about the contest and that language (or similar, I'm not going back to copy-paste) was in all of them.

Then when I'd picked a winner I asked her to write me an email that again gave me explicit permission to use her name in any way I wanted and stating that she understood that she wouldn't be consulted on that usage beforehand, and that she wouldn't sue or complain or whatever else.

I also, just as an additional thing, dedicated the book to her, and included her in the Acknowledgements, but she didn't know I was going to do that (I think I might have said in the contest verbiage that I would mention them in the Acknowledgments and stress that the character wasn't based on them).

Argh, okay, I went back and found the verbiage:


*A couple of things to remember before entering: I don’t know what character I will use your name for. It could be a wonderful person, a fellow Church employee, a new friend; it could be a junkie, a whore, a gruesome murder victim, an evil rampaging ghost, or a drug dealer or thief or scumbag of any type. This is a Downside book, remember. Do not expect that your name will be used for someone cool. BUT, if I do use it for any of the aforementioned unsavory types, I promise your note in the Acknowledgment will emphasize that you personally are a fine, upstanding citizen and all of that. Okay? Seriously. By entering this contest you agree that you understand your name may be used in any way and agree not to hold me responsible if you don’t like the way it’s used.

Siri Kirpal
04-26-2013, 03:29 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Sounds like fun! A useful idea to stash away for future reference.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Helix
04-26-2013, 03:45 AM
I won a raffle in which the first prize was my name being used as character in a novel by a very well-known author of hugely best-selling crime novels. I signed a waiver, although it was a fairly hastily drawn up one.

I think my namesake has appeared in several books --- as a formidable lawyer who wears Prada. The last bit amused my friends. (By 'amused', I mean there was a lot of clutching of sides and hooting with laughter.) Obviously the character just carried my name and wasn't meant to be me.

Susan Littlefield
04-26-2013, 07:45 AM
Mark, what a great idea!

:popcorn:

MarkEsq
04-26-2013, 08:27 AM
Thanks everyone. :) I think it'll be a fun thing and I can't imagine it being a problem down the line. One can't help but worry, of course, or perhaps just over-think things. But I do appreciate all the input.

eyeblink
04-26-2013, 10:09 AM
Thanks everyone. :) I think it'll be a fun thing and I can't imagine it being a problem down the line. One can't help but worry, of course, or perhaps just over-think things. But I do appreciate all the input.lk.

I remember a similar thing being a raffle prize at a Fantasycon several years today - the winner got to suffer a horrible death in one author's next horror novel.

calieber
04-27-2013, 05:54 AM
If you're up front about what sort of character you're raffling/auctioning off the right to choose the name for, so that people know this character's fate before they enter (or have the opportunity to), I don't see it being a problem.