A Problem with Contract renewal!!!!

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overfiend

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Well, I signed a contract in 07 and by June of this year, I was so ecstatic that my book rights would be finally mine. However, I am still getting messages after the passed due date about ASB . I sent and email and got the surprise of my life. They told me my book was automatically renewed. I received no email, nothing in the mail or nothing to sign for that to happen. Now they seem to be silent an not answering me. The last email I got was that my book had been renewed automatically. Is this legal. My book has had zero sales for the last 6 and a half years. Also isn't it illegal to keep to a contract signed with PA while the company has changed names to ASB? Does a company name change warrant new contract to be signed by authors and publisher and even void the old contract????
 

Marian Perera

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Well, I signed a contract in 07 and by June of this year, I was so ecstatic that my book rights would be finally mine. However, I am still getting messages after the passed due date about ASB . I sent and email and got the surprise of my life. They told me my book was automatically renewed. I received no email, nothing in the mail or nothing to sign for that to happen. Now they seem to be silent an not answering me. The last email I got was that my book had been renewed automatically. Is this legal.

Automatic renewal? Sure, it's legal if that's what your contract says. IIRC, you need to put it in writing (send a registered letter) saying that you don't want renewal once the contract is up.

Also isn't it illegal to keep to a contract signed with PA while the company has changed names to ASB? Does a company name change warrant new contract to be signed by authors and publisher and even void the old contract????

No, it doesn't void the old contract. Presses go through such changes. I'm sure all the authors with Random House didn't find themselves with invalid contracts when the publisher merged with Penguin.
 

overfiend

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Thanks for the reply Queen of Swords. Well my pickle is that my contact expired on June 14 and I did not send anything. I thought it would be automatically cancelled as I have zero sales for about 6 and a half years. does that mean I am screwed for another 7 yrs or is it not too late to send them a letter?
 

Marian Perera

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Thanks for the reply Queen of Swords. Well my pickle is that my contact expired on June 14 and I did not send anything. I thought it would be automatically cancelled as I have zero sales for about 6 and a half years. does that mean I am screwed for another 7 yrs or is it not too late to send them a letter?

You can try sending them a letter, but don't expect them to agree or even respond. Remember, the contract favors PA heavily, which is why they'll hold you to whatever the contract says.

At this point, your best bet is to forget about this book and move on to your next one. PA owns this book for another seven years. But PA can't screw you, unless they stop you writing.

ETA : You might want to read Don Davidson's recent posts in the Newer NEPAT.

...read your contract. Mine said it would automatically renew unless I sent them written notice (via U.S. mail, not email) at least 90 days before the expiration of my contract, saying that I do not wish to renew. I sent them that written notice, and got a written acknowledgement, long ago. Both are posted on my web site.

I emailed PA on Sunday about the contract ending, and a few days later received an email conceding that the contract has expired. But first they tried to tell me that it had been renewed!!! Because I could quote them chapter and verse from their own acknowledgement of my non-renewal letter (and offered to send them a copy), they quickly backed down.
 
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overfiend

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Was so stupid from my part not to send that letter. Now wait seven more years. MY god. Was counting the days to June 2014 and now I have to wait more. At this point I have nothing to lose. I will still write them a letter and see what happens. I never get it, how can they just renew a contract without sending you one to resign for continuation. They don't even send you a notice. How the heck can this be legal??? I know who they are but come on...why not fry the big fishes they have or the newbies they get. Those who were tortured already for 7 gruelling years, why not let them go!. Anyway...thanks Queen
 

overfiend

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By the way, how do I get their address? On their new site, which I have been for the first time today, you get the form. No address info like before. Or is it the same address like before in Frederick MD 21705
 

Marian Perera

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I never get it, how can they just renew a contract without sending you one to resign for continuation. They don't even send you a notice. How the heck can this be legal???

Why not? All they have to do is put a clause in the contract saying it automatically renews for 7 years, with the same terms, unless the author sends them a snail mail letter. Author signs the contract. Perfectly legal.

I know who they are but come on...why not fry the big fishes they have or the newbies they get. Those who were tortured already for 7 gruelling years, why not let them go!. Anyway...thanks Queen

Because they don't let anyone go easily.

You're welcome! I don't have their mailing address, but you could PM someone who has written to them, like Don Davidson.
 

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