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thecraftteens
03-29-2008, 06:28 AM
Hello. I am new here. I had my novel published with PA, but it hasn't been released yet (it is released next month) and I want to get out of my contract thanks to the wonderful people here on AbsoluteWrite. I would like to know how I can get out of the contract.
I already tried emailing them and have done so three times today. I read NEPAT and I know to be polite no matter what incase it goes to court, which isn't really an option. They will not give me back my rights to the first in a series I am creating. I would move on, but the book is first in my series.
Also, on their website it says that they only enter contracts with those 18 and older. I am only 17 and signed the contract 4 years ago, when I was 14, so can I use that to get out of the contract?
I don't really want to wait until 2011 to get my rights back, as I would like to seek a literary agent to get a legitimate publisher.

Thanks to anyone that can help.

Joanna_S
03-29-2008, 06:47 AM
If you look at your contract you should see a clause that requires sending them a registered letter in order to get out of your contract. Send the letter, mention that you signed the contract at age 14 and still aren't an adult, that your parents didn't co-sign, and that you want the contract cancelled. They can't win against a minor, period. They should let you go.

And welcome to AbsoluteWrite! Make yourself at home, discover some of the incredible resources here and feel free to join in the discussions. You've found a good home here.

-- Joanna

LloydBrown
03-29-2008, 07:39 AM
A minor can't legally enter into a binding contract. Assuming you were a minor when you were 14, the contract is automatically voided. Just let them know.

benbradley
03-29-2008, 08:50 AM
A minor can't legally enter into a binding contract. Assuming you were a minor when you were 14, the contract is automatically voided. Just let them know.

Hmm, I wonder if PA would poop a gold brick (to use a phrase) over this situation? They might now have to go to the expense of determining if someone is actually at least 18 years old before offering a (or accepting back a signed) contract. I know a cheap way to do that (don't really want to mention it, just in case PA is too stupid to figure it out themselves - no doubt they read this and most everything that mentions them), but I wonder if adding a statement to the contract that "by signing, I am stating that I am 18 years old or older" would be good enough to protect them, and might not the contract already have that in there?

They've had your book FOUR YEARS? Have you ever bought any copies? Has PA ever sold a copy to anyone else? What's this about "it hasn't been released yet (it is released next month)?"

overfiend
03-29-2008, 03:18 PM
Well i wouldn't try that 14 year old stuff.PA is changing somehow.They are harder to trap.My advice is wait for a few royalty payments to come with 0.00 then ask for an annulment (will take a year ot two).Recently i tried using a tax council line that i got from this forum and it backfired.I requested that they provide me a letter, official one that would prove my book sales and also made their address and accounting dept known in a seperate letter to be contacted by Tax revenus services upon notice with the name of the guy in charge of course(well it was partly true because i had to declare that too).I got the letter with all details and persons to contact.I was expecting them to back down somehow or start throwing questions as to why and so on but the fell through.

thecraftteens
03-29-2008, 04:14 PM
They've had your book FOUR YEARS? Have you ever bought any copies? Has PA ever sold a copy to anyone else? What's this about "it hasn't been released yet (it is released next month)?"


Yes, four years. I signed in 2004, but I didn't finish with my manuscript until December 2007, so they kept emailing me between time to submit it and I didn't know about what they really were, so I wrote it and submitted in December.
Apart from the two free authors copies, no one else has currently bought the novel, nor has PA sold any copies. It is due to be released April 21st.

benbradley
04-01-2008, 07:54 PM
Yes, four years. I signed in 2004, but I didn't finish with my manuscript until December 2007, so they kept emailing me between time to submit it and I didn't know about what they really were, so I wrote it and submitted in December.
Apart from the two free authors copies, no one else has currently bought the novel, nor has PA sold any copies. It is due to be released April 21st.
Oh - this is what's confusing to me. Perhaps PA was different back in 2004, but every other PA situation I've seen, one first submits a completed (by PA standards, which seem quite low) manuscript, and only THEN does PA "reads over" and accept it, and send you a contract to sign.

Yours is the first I've seen where someone signed a contract with PA before submitting a manuscript.

Christine N.
04-01-2008, 08:55 PM
Even if she were to sign that contract TODAY, it wouldn't be valid without a parent's cosignature.

If you have a lawyer-type friend that could write something up for you, I'd do it. Or have your parents write a strongly worded letter. If they didn not cosign or give permission, PA has no choice but to void it.

CatSlave
04-01-2008, 08:57 PM
Oh - this is what's confusing to me. Perhaps PA was different back in 2004, but every other PA situation I've seen, one first submits a completed (by PA standards, which seem quite low) manuscript, and only THEN does PA "reads over" and accept it, and send you a contract to sign.

Yours is the first I've seen where someone signed a contract with PA before submitting a manuscript.
PA will sign a contract based on a partial submission, with a "due date" for receiving a complete MS.

DWSTXS
04-01-2008, 09:19 PM
I don't even believe that it's a case of 'voiding' the contract, since the contract was never legal to begin with. The contract is invalid. PA may attempt to say it was entered into in good faith, but no court would uphold it.

Christine N.
04-01-2008, 11:38 PM
Now that's true. There's no way a court would honor it.

thecraftteens
04-02-2008, 04:41 AM
Even if she were to sign that contract TODAY, it wouldn't be valid without a parent's cosignature.

If you have a lawyer-type friend that could write something up for you, I'd do it. Or have your parents write a strongly worded letter. If they didn not cosign or give permission, PA has no choice but to void it.

I'm actually a boy, but that's okay, you didn't know.

It seems like my story is confusing, so this is basically what happened:

I did a search on google. It came up with PA.

I contacted them and they offered to publish (of course) and told me to submit my complete manuscript and sent the contract.

I signed it (my mom co-signed) and sent it back.

I didn't have the complete manuscript, so I never submitted it.

Years go by (2004-2007). They contact me throughout these years (about once every few months) and ask for the manuscript.

December 2007, I submit the manuscript. Then there's the standard non-existing editing, 10-second proofing, and shabby clipart cover.

February 2008, they send me the authors copies and tell me my release date is April 21, 2008, even though all the websites (Amazon, etc) say it RD is February 18, 2008, the day the copies arrived.

IceCreamEmpress
04-02-2008, 05:06 AM
If a parent or guardian co-signed the contract, it's legally binding.

Chalk it up to a learning experience and move on to your next project.

Gillhoughly
04-02-2008, 05:09 AM
Your mom co-signing makes things different, but you can still get out of this. It will take time, but PA doesn't care about that.

Send your registered letter about being underaged. If you leave out that your mom co-signed they might not even look up your file.

They will probably insist your contract is binding, however:

Make it very clear to them that you have no intention of promoting your book or buying any copies yourself.

You're the one person they expect to make money from but they won't want you around if you don't give them that.

You may have to rinse and repeat.

DaveKuzminski
04-02-2008, 05:26 AM
Just inform them politely that you will not promote or market your book to any family or friends and that you will not make any purchases to sell it. They may send you a letter meant to scare you, but just stand firm.