Putting Out A Contract (on a Writer) PART II

April 10th, 2015

The Escargot Series – A thriller with an ear towards the future.

Part II – Tracking Down The Problem

The last post above was about the police inquiry made to determine if I’d been dealing with a case of identity theft at a phishing site. That letter obtained a reply.

From: Raiderpublishing

Sent: Friday, May 23, 2014 5:30 AM

To: Barbara

Subject: Apologies/Production Timeline/Upgrade

Dear Barbara,

There is no need to take the actions mentioned, I can assure you. Your email was a bit of a shock to me, as we haven’t heard from you for many months. I’ve just taken a look at your contract and legally, we still have around three months to produce your book for publication, so I would imagine reporting us to the authorities would be dismissed. I do however apologize for the lack of email communication, as it is a bit of a mystery to me as to why we haven’t been in touch sooner.

I’ll take personal control of the production of your book, and if you can promise to hold off filing an official complaint with anyone, I’m confident that we’ll be able to get your edited and designed proofs to you for your final review, shortly.

To put a timeframe on it, I’ll move some of our production work around and make sure that your book proofs are sent to you for your final review on or before June 6th.
As an author myself, I can certainly understand why you are upset and I sincerely apologize for any stress this might have caused you. We would like to upgrade your package as well, to our Silver Package (a $1,400 offer) as a way of apologizing for these email troubles.
I hope from here we can move forward in a constructive way, towards what we both want, which is the success of you and your book. We hope to hear from you again, someday soon.

Best Regards,
Adam Salviani

For the rest of these contract negotiations, please look under this page-

________________________

Now that I’d been assured I was dealing with a real individual, I reviewed the letter carefully. I didn’t want to take an upgrade that would both reinstate stock clauses I’d changed or omitted in the negotiated version, and allow them to publish podcasts or E-books that are very hard to track in terms of sales or copyright violations. Profits also are different. With the erosion of trust, I preferred not to alter our prior agreement.
_______________________

Subject: RE: Apologies/Production Timeline/Upgrade

From: Barbara 
Date: Fri, May 23, 2014 11:37 am

To: Raiderpublishing


Dear Adam,

Thank you for your reply. As I mentioned in my email, I’ve sent numerous messages, including an overnight express package in the event that my emails had begun reaching a phishing site. Did you get that?

I’m pleased to hear you are back at work on my book. Your last email to me said you’d begun editing it last December. Since it is a short work, the lapse in contact was worrisome. As a victim of identity theft, it was important that I follow up with the authorities in case I’d been dealing with another entity. Please let me know if you’d like copies of my emails and letters since that time for your records. Some of them suggested colors and cover designs but I guess we’ll talk about those when you are ready.

As far as an upgrade in our contract, please be advised that I prefer we stay with our old agreement. I don’t want any podcasts or e-books done at this time although we can re-visit this option in future and the other services are the same as my ‘Steel’ package, although if you’d like to send me extra copies of the book at no charge, I will begin marketing it aggressively with smaller bookstores around the country. I’m presently in Northern California, a great place to begin signings and marketing efforts.

As previously suggested, I’d like to send a chapter or two to translators in some other countries if you can tell me the kinds of arrangements you use with foreign presses. My cell number at present is 442 ________. The phone numbers on your web sites have recordings identifying them as other companies or as being disconnected.

Best regards,
Barbara Rubin

__________________________

From: Raiderpublishing

Sent: Friday, May 23, 2014 12:05 PM

To: Barbara

Subject: RE: Apologies/Production Timeline/Upgrade

Dear Barbara,


We’re going to do all we can to get everything sorted out, as soon as possible. You can give me a call through my direct line (212-________) if you need to contact me directly. I’ll check into the numbers you’ve mentioned and see why you had problems with them. 
We respect your decision to stay with the previous contract and we’ll honor that request. As for the foreign language rights, we can option these to other publishers, who then do translations of their own. This is usually the easier option, as it requires little risk and less overhead from our side. 
I’ll be in touch with you again next week. Equally, please feel free to give me a call if you’d like to. I’ll be leaving the office shortly, but I’ll be around next week during normal business hours to answer any questions you might have. Have a good holiday weekend and I’m sure we’ll be in touch again, shortly.

Best Regards,
Adam Salviani 

Raider Publishing International


______________________________

Subject: RE: Apologies/Production Timeline/Upgrade

From: Barbara 
Date: Wed, May 28, 2014 3:57 pm

To: Raiderpublishing

Dear Adam,

Hope you had a great holiday weekend. It was wonderful to hear from you and, again, to reassure you that I wasn’t accusing you of fraud but had become fearful I was dealing with a phishing site imitating your company. Now that we are again in contact, getting out that book before August still gives us time to finish the entire marketing plan. After you send out press releases, I can send out sample copies of my book to small bookstores as well as the franchises to ‘drum up’ business. Instead of an upgrade in contract, feel free to offer more free copies of the book to me than was previously authorized as they will be used as advertising around the country. My phone isn’t working very well so any calls you make might seem as if they’d not been answered. Some calls get through. I have ordered new mobile phones in the meantime but don’t expect them to arrive for a week or more.

I will send some to translators also to extend publication to other countries. Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic and French are the initial inquiries I’d like to make. When you get time, let me know how you ‘option’ these publishers. Do royalties come from both our ends or transfer for a price to the other publisher?

Some of the emails you didn’t register involved discussion of the cover design. I proposed Black lettering on a white background. The picture in my mind was of the earth (not unlike your own logo) with a ‘cinch’ about its middle. Strings come up from that cinch and wind about the thumb and ring finger of a blue-gloved hand.

As an alternative, perhaps you prefer a picture of the earth with an ear superimposed on it from the side so that a small cochlea (snail shaped bone) can be seen. I hope you can offer suggestions based upon your knowledge and experience about cover design and buyer attention. How many pages do you think this book will be based upon proposed dimensions?
Lastly, I will be forming a company for all royalty deposits to go into. How do authors keep track of sales and royalty figures between quarterly sales reports?
Best regards,

BARBARA RUBIN


_______________________

From: Raiderpublishing

To: Barbara

Subject: RE: Apologies/Production Timeline/Upgrade

Date: Thu 6/05/14 5:43 PM

Dear Barbara,

We’ve come up with two cover design concepts, based on the ideas you’ve sent to us. The first has to do with the “ear” them, while the second is more of a thriller concept. Let us know what you think. 
As far as the editing goes, you should expect it for your final review, within the next two weeks. Please feel free to get back to me when you can with your thoughts and we can take things from there.

Best Regards,
Adam Salviani
Raider Publishing International

A Writer’s Contract – End of a Year’s Correspondence

Hoping to speak with Adam about some of my unanswered questions, I called him. The phone number given was disconnected.

Subject: Update requested

From: Barbara
Date: Sat, June 21, 2014 1:24 am

To: Raiderpublishing

Hi Adam,

This is Barbara Rubin requesting an update on your progress with the editing of my novel, the Escargot Series. While we’ve been talking about cover art, you estimated I’d be getting the finished review of the book about now. How is it going? Was it problematic, being relatively short, in terms of quality? As my health is very variable, I worry about the fact it takes me longer than for normal people (I have cancer and other disabilities) to do each task and want to begin marketing as soon as possible.

Re: the cover art, another person suggested a translucent ear with a map inside of it of the earth/north America. Lots of helpful suggestions. Do you use drawings or should I take my own photos for you to ‘photo-shop’ without worry about copyright?

Regards,

Barbara Rubin
_________________________________

From: Raiderpublishing

Sent: Monday, June 23, 2014 7:15 AM

To: Barbara

Subject: RE: Update requested

Dear Barbara,


Thank you for your email. The publication of your book has taken a bit longer than expected, as the editing has been a bit more work than we anticipated. This of course is not a problem and we’ll do our best to make sure everything gets to you for your final review, as soon as it’s ready. We appreciate your understanding and we’ll be in touch regarding the cover designs as well. Take care and we hope all is well, otherwise.

Best Regards,

Adam Salviani 

Raider Publishing International
_____________________________________

Subject: RE: Update requested

From: Barbara
Date: Mon, June 23, 2014 12:30 pm

To: Raiderpublishing

Dear Adam,

Can you tell me why three promised dates of delivery have not been met as we near the end of the contract period? The book is in two parts. Perhaps the first has been completed and might be sent on to me for my review? The contract states the edit is solely for purposes of grammar and spelling, not content. Therefore, the length of time for editing ought to be fairly uniform per author and it doesn’t matter if the edited portions of the book are sent to me as they are finished.

It might be best for me to speak directly with the book editor him/herself in this matter. I do have strong concerns that I won’t have sufficient time to review and make final upgrades on the content of the book as we must publish and begin sales during the first year of the contract. Please rest assured that I have scrupulously planned my travel schedule around our mutual interests in this publication and fear delays will compromise the quality and sales value of the finished product.

Thank you for your prompt replies and I look forward to beginning the final stages of this work.

Yours truly,
Barbara Rubin

Escargot Series (Novellas I and II)
______________________________

From: Raiderpublishing

To: Barbara

Subject: RE: Update requested

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:09:13 -0700

Dear Barbara,


I do understand your concern regarding this matter. Please be assured that your book is being edited for grammar and not content, in anyway. I will check into the situation and I’ll do all I can to speed up the process in anyway I can. Take care and we should be in touch again soon.


Best Regards,
Adam Salviani

Raider Publishing International
___________________________________

Subject: Reassessment of Agreement

From: Barbara
Date: Sun, June 29, 2014 4:23 pm

To: Raiderpublishing

Dear Mr. Salviani,

Please be advised that three promised dates have passed without delivery of an edited version of my manuscript, ‘The Escargot Series’, (novellas I and II). My legal advisors are worried about my having enough time to polish the edited version if it arrives too near the contractually agreed-upon date for publication at the end of August. I believed I would have at least three to four weeks of review time after the grammatical corrections were made in order to market a book deserving of favorable reviews by booksellers.

You may recall notifying me that the editing of my book had begun last December. This was followed by a lengthy lapse in communications between us. After those resumed last month, you assured me there was no need to confirm the legitimacy of your position in the firm of Raider Publishing International and stated that my edited work would be received by June 6 of 2014. On June 5, you requested my patience for an additional two weeks but delivery was still not made. Your last communication (see below), offers no reason for additional delays and fails to offer a timeline for completion of all remaining tasks due before the end of August. My advisors also noted that your offer of cover art inaccurately portrayed the book’s contents, leaving out reference to the second novella entirely. This led us to wonder if the editing and book design are being done by the same person or different individuals. Last Friday, I called the direct line you sent to me on May 23. A recording stated it was a non-working number.

Understandably, my advisors would like me to speak with another principal member of your company at this time. The contract allows for communications to shift to other parties should a lack of understanding become an impediment to attaining our mutual goals. We would appreciate receiving appropriate assurances that the book will be returned to me, fully edited for grammar, during the first week in July. In this manner I can fulfil my responsibilities in presenting you with a finished manuscript. Your company will then have the entire month of July and August to prepare the galleys (proofs) and cover art suited to a thriller or science fiction genre so that sales can begin by September.

We are open to friendly discussions with other members of your firm in the UK as well, as I plan to market in both localities. We would also like to further define your reference to the term ‘options’ with regard to translating the book into other languages. Does this require an addendum to the existing contract? I am presently forming a new corporation for the sale and management of this and other books I hope to write. I was planning to start advertising the book (pre-publication) by opening a face-book page but wish to know your intentions.

If you are presently overwhelmed by other obligations and would like to dissolve our contract, this would be the best time to discuss the appropriate release forms. Otherwise, I will begin to aggressively pursue my business plan.

Below are the emails referred to in the above letter and I thank you for your prompt reply.

Yours truly,
Barbara Rubin
BCC: M. B Esq.; J.M., CPA
_______________________________

From: Raiderpublishing

Sent: Monday, June 30, 2014 8:33 AM

To: Barbara

Subject: RE: Reassessment of Agreement

Dear Barbara,

Thank you for your email. Your concerns regarding the production timeframes are completely understood by us and I’ll do all that is in my power to make sure these editing projects are finished as soon as possible. Your advisiors are welcome to contact me directly (if you give them the authority to do so), but at this time I would prefer to be your main source of contact. You have my word that I’ll try to speed this process along as quickly as possible and we’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as your books are ready. Take care and we hope you have a good week ahead.


Best Regards,

Adam Salviani 

Raider Publishing International
______________________________

To: Raiderpublishing

From:Barbara

Subject: RE: Reassessment of Agreement

Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2014 10:42:55 -0700

Dear Adam,

Please reference the agreed upon clauses of our contract (14 and 15) as follows:
14. The Publisher agrees to produce the said literary work within 365 days from the date of the signing of this agreement by both parties thereto, provided Publisher is not hindered by causes beyond its own control, or by the Author. If for some reason this deadline can not be achieved, the two parties shall create and agree upon an addendum, as required by clause fifteen.

15. The Author and the Publisher agree to correspond with each other in a civil and respectful manner during the publication and promotional process. If for some reason either the Author or Publisher shows cause that one or both parties has violated this clause, future correspondence will take place between agreed upon intermediaries

There appears to be two problems to resolve during this publication phase of our contract: First, this timeline requires you to have 3-4 weeks for publication, i.e. final proofs delivered to you without further input from the author required. I also need 3-4 weeks of time to review and finish the edited version of my manuscript, still unscheduled for this task as per our emails. You will then need time to receive my review of your edit and turn it into a ‘proof’ for my review of typos and errors of your own pre-publishing preparation. We are obviously behind this basic schedule of tasks. As you were unable to meet three different delivery dates set by yourself, it is therefore reasonable to request you inform me of your plans for a solid timeline now that meets our mutual needs or propose a contractual amendment. Otherwise, this contract may be deemed invalid.

Next, our letters and tone have been quite civil in tone but respectful correspondence requires that questions be answered with a degree of reliability, i.e. truthfulness. I have asked to speak with another person in your company as the information you have provided as to when I can expect to move from the publishing stage of the process to the promotional, has not proven to be reliable. With the time available for the satisfactory completion of the contract in some jeopardy, it is reasonable that I request another company contact. Again, this is part of our agreement. I wish to enact this clause or offer you the opportunity to amend or dissolve this contract.

Thank you for your understanding and prompt reply.

Respectfully,


Barbara Rubin,
Author
BCC: M. B., Esq.; J.M., CPA

There was no reply so that email was resent with the following explanation –

From: Barbara

To: Raiderpublishing

Subject: FW: Reassessment of Agreement – second email

Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2014 13:51:44 -0700

Dear Adam,

I know you have said you’ve not received some of my emails so I thought this ought to be resent to you. Please let me know if it arrives, even if you have no reply to make at this time. Thank you for sending confirmation.

Barbara Rubin
___________________________.

From: Raiderpublishing

To: Barbara

Subject: RE: Book Proofs

Date: Fri 8/29/14 8:04 AM
Dear Barbara,

We of course respect your decision to cancel your contract. I was personally unaware of this decision and we’ll make sure all production is terminated with regard to your titles.

Best Regards,

Adam Salviani

Raider Publishing International
_______________________________

My last email to the sole representative of Raider Publishing available to contact was as follows –

From: Barbara

Sent: Friday, August 29, 2014 8:43 AM

To: Raiderpublishing

Subject: RE: Book Proofs

Mr. Salviani,

You are in breach of contract and have been respectfully notified by appropriate parties regarding the issue in a lawful manner. Those communications detail what course of action you are expected to take. The Better Business Bureau has made themselves available to assist you if Raider Publishing does not take the independent steps required.

Your statement that I made a decision to cancel the cont ract is inaccurate and does not acknowledge that Raider International no longer holds any rights to, or interests in, my intellectual property. That acknowledgement has been requested and we await your official response.

Barbara Rubin

EPILOGUE

The lawyers letter delivered, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau containing all of our exchanges and a request for refund of the monies paid. They assured me that they had delivered a copy of all these details to the company as well. This appeared to be sufficient protection for my copyright but offered no satisfaction regarding my need for the earnings that were to have supplemented my income for essential expenses.

I have hired an editor privately to work on my novel so I might self-publish the work through reputable houses. In order to fund that effort, here is thelink to an indie-gogo investment campaign titled, ‘From Existence to Life – Bridging the Real Gap’

This is a trailer for the book in 34 seconds of audio on You-tube –

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=N8YZ65cRw1s

Please feel free to post your own thoughts or experiences with contracts in or out of the publishing world. However, please keep to the legal nature of your issues. Defamatory statements and profanity will be removed as unhelpful in the exploration of these issues.

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