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Being forced to pay publisher

Discussion in 'Consumer Law, Contracts, Warranties' started by Paul Schneiter, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Paul Schneiter

    Paul Schneiter Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Indiana
    I signed a contract to have a publisher publish my book. I also signed a contract to have the publisher market the book. When the book was published and announced to hundreds of outlets (bookstores, libraries, newspapers, etc.) it was found to contain an egregious error: five pages had been added at the end consisting of random text from the book proper. This was humiliating to me as an author.
    I signed the marketing contract with the understanding that the book would be published just as shown in the final, press-ready proof. I maintain that the error invalidates the marketing contract or, at a minimum, mandates a substantial reduction in the marketing fees (nearly $8,000). The publisher has agreed to reprint the book at no charge to me; however, the damage to my reputation has already been done. Remember, the publisher announced the book and sent copies--with the error--to many outlets. Clearly, the publisher failed to exercise due diligence by not quality-checking the book before announcing it and distributing it. Do I have a case, at least for a reduction in fees?
     
  2. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    What do the contracts say?
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    No way to tell without reading the contracts. You can upload them here and maybe get some comments.

    Or, you can take them to a lawyer and get them reviewed.
     
  4. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    Did you waive the rights to see the proofs (this is a "low cost" option on a lot of the subsidy press stuff). Frankly, the "marketing" offered by these folks is suspect anyhow. That's not how the real publishing industry works.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    That's legally absurd. Someone making a mistake does not invalidate your contract.

    Can you prove it? Do you have tangible evidence of (1) what your reputation was before the incident; (2) what your reputation is now; and (3) the link between the publisher's mistake and the alleged damage?

    One would have to read your contract to offer you an intelligent opinion about this question.
     
  6. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I am a published author as well, and it would be obvious to anyone with a room-temperature IQ that the problem originated with the publisher and not with you. It's not going to have any affect whatsoever on your reputation and it's absurd to think it would. Certainly I understand your being upset and I would encourage you to have an attorney review your contract to see what kind of options you have available with regards to fee reductions. But you're not going to get anywhere on reputational injury without a great deal more than you have and it would be a waste of money to try.
     
    hrforme and justblue like this.
  7. Paul Schneiter

    Paul Schneiter Law Topic Starter New Member

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  8. Paul Schneiter

    Paul Schneiter Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Your analysis makes sense. I should not have suggested that the publisher's error invalidated the contract. But I also suggested that the error may justify a reduction in the $8,000 marketing fee. If you signed a sales contract with a new car dealer and the car arrived with a damaged front fender, do you suppose you would talk with the dealer about an adjustment?
     
  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Nope - the dealer would fix it.
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Nothing strangers reveal to you will be persuasive insofar as PROVING anyone owes you money, or your contract has been breached.

    As suggested previously, it is time to consult a LICENSED attorney in your jurisdiction if you believe you have been injured financially.
     
  11. Paul Schneiter

    Paul Schneiter Law Topic Starter New Member

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  12. Paul Schneiter

    Paul Schneiter Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I never said the publisher owes me money. I did say that a reduction in the $8,000 marketing fee may be justified.
     
  13. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You are free to negotiate - that is not controlled by law.
     
  14. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    If you are looking for a law that says that any errors in production AUTOMATICALLY provides you with the basis for fee reduction, there isn't one.

    No one has said you're not entitled to have your contract reviewed with that in mind. What we're trying to explain to you is that no law provides you AUTOMATIC right of adjustment. I already said I thought you should see if the contract provides you with any such right; it's simply that no law provides it automatically.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  15. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    And as I and others previously told you, one would have to read your contract to offer you an intelligent opinion about this issue.
     
  16. Paul Schneiter

    Paul Schneiter Law Topic Starter New Member

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  17. Paul Schneiter

    Paul Schneiter Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Is a contract ever open to challenge?
     
  18. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    It can be. It depends on the exact wording of the specific contract. You're looking for a one-size-fits-all answer and there isn't one since each contract is individual.
     
  19. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but again, no one here can offer you any sort of reliable opinion about your contract, so that incredibly general statement is of no use to you.
     
  20. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Yes, for example if you thought she was to sell you a bushel of red potatoes, but she sold you a bushel of gold potatoes.

    You each had a different item in mind.
    If such an agreement had been reached it is said that there was NO meeting of the minds.
    In the aforementioned circumstance there would be no contract.

    Based upon your recitations above, perhaps there was no meeting of the minds.
     

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