View Full Version : What if it makes a company look bad/Fictionalizing?

09-09-2007, 04:06 AM
I've been reading over the posts about libel, but none of them touch on quite my problem. I guess I'll have to explain this the long way.

I worked as a female contractor in Iraq. My memoir is about my experiences there. Along with all the sex, black marketing, drugs and thieving (as well as positive, wonderful things) I will also be including the harassment, discrimination and corruption that I ran up against that was condoned by the company. I'm worried because I don't think there is any way that I can disguise what company I worked for and they will not be happy to read what I want to print.

As much as I want to stand up and say "This is real!" I think I'm going to have to fictionalize it. So, can one write the truth with fake names and call it fiction?

09-09-2007, 06:39 AM
I'd suggest you write the story using all the real names/places/etc. and see if you have crafted something a publisher wants to buy. If you have, their legal team will advise you on changes like this and they will then stand behind you.

09-09-2007, 03:29 PM
Their team will take that much time with an author? I kind of assumed they would hand me a sheet of general rules and then be off.

Thank you. It does ease my mind to know that a touchy subject won't blow my chances at publication and that they will work with me.

09-09-2007, 06:59 PM
WishWords, any major publisher is going to have its legal team read your book carefully for things that could get you or them in trouble. So yes, they will take that much time, at a house like Crown. Now, if you are with a small press, they may not have a legal staff, and you may be on your own. But I'd suggest you cross that bridge when you have a publisher and the situation is known.

For me and other Random House authors, the legal staff reviews not only the book but also ad copy, press releases and anything else that may expose us to liability. Of course, the extent to which they do that will depend upon how big and how controversial a book you have, but no one wants a lawsuit and they do their best to prevent them.

09-09-2007, 08:19 PM
That's great. Thank you.