This letter confirms that, effective June 1, 2016, all publication and related rights granted
by you to Booktrope and/or Libertary Co. (“the Company”) for books you submitted to
the Company will revert to you as of that date, without further notice.
This reversion of rights includes all publication rights you granted to the Company, and
any subsidiary or derivative rights, and/or distribution rights you granted to the Company.
I"m still not understanding what's taking so long on the letters.
That was the entirety of our rights reversion letter for BT. 70 words. How hard can it be?
Unfortunately, because of subsidiary rights, a lot of contracts can't simply be reverted in total. For example, they sub-contracted 3 of my titles in audio in a ten-year agreement. So Samhain can't grant me those rights in a simple reversion, because those rights are tied up elsewhere. That's part of the reason for the lengthy process for each individual letter (and again, letters that could have been written weeks ago and been ready to send out as of 3/1, but that's a whole other rant).
The owner is also trying to save her own butt by adding in the "don't sue me" part, because our contracts state we're paid monthly royalties, but her big close-up plan is wait on further payments, collect the last of the royalties owed from various book vendors, and then pay one big check to authors in June/July.
The whole fiasco is overly complicated and it's making a lot of us nuts waiting on letters that should have freaking gone out last week.
The "don't sue me" part doesn't just cover late payments, though. I mean... If I sign this I can't sue her over issues of constitutional law. WTF? How is any of this likely to become a constitution issue? It's a huge overreach.
If she said "in exchange for the return of rights, you'll agree to have your final royalties paid in a lump sum on X date rather than monthly", I'd have signed.
But the long, detailed list of things I can't sue for? All the sweeping terms about things I may never have thought about, known about, or considered, but that I'm not allowed to sue over if I sign?
I have no intention of suing Samhain based on ANY information I currently have or expect to receive. But I won't sign something that sweeping. No way.
Also, my contract says my rights revert in three months, not six. So... I'll wait the three months, I guess.
Does an e-mail count as notice in writing?
That's what lawyers do though. They often overreach trying to cover all bases for their clients. And that often leads to people on the other side feeling pissed off, and causes more money for everyone in legal fees. (I'm not bashing lawyers my dad was one.)
But anyway it's not necessarily Chrissy wanting all this stuff. I'd guess it's what her lawyers have suggested would be safest for her. But if authors and their lawyers end up feeling threatened by the wording, it it can backfire obviously.
My books were already covered/formatted/ready. It's 30% of my backlist, so I really couldn't afford to leave them out of print. It sucks, but... sigh.