Home » Contracts, Legal Stuff » Publishers Skyhorse & Start Acquire Underland Press

Publishers Skyhorse & Start Acquire Underland Press

17 April 2013

From Shelf Awareness:

Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing have partnered to acquire Underland Press, which specializes in science fiction, fantasy and horror, in a purchase that is part of the joint effort to “deepen their relationship to the genre community.”

Link to the rest at Shelf Awareness

We’ve heard about Skyhorse and Start recently with their Nightshade acquisition. This is another reminder for authors signing with publishers large or small that a publishing contract is typically assignable, particularly if the publisher is sold.

The people who persuaded you to sign the contract may not be the same people who are using the contract to determine what rights they own in your book. The acquirers will look at what the contract actually says, not what the former publisher told authors it said or meant.

 

Contracts, Legal Stuff

3 Comments to “Publishers Skyhorse & Start Acquire Underland Press”

  1. The people who persuaded you to sign the contract may not be the same people who are using the contract to determine what rights they own in your book. The acquirers will look at what the contract actually says, not what the former publisher told authors it said or meant.

    That’s the number one issue I run into when trying to negotiate contracts. I point out how a contract term could potentially be interpreted, from a logical standpoint (since I’m not a lawyer by any stretch of the imagination and therefore can’t and don’t give legal advice). The person says “Oh! We mean it as X.” Me: “So let’s change it so it says X specifically instead of Y, Z, or AAA.” (Okay, so usually it can actually mean X, but sometimes… it explicitly says something else.)

    It’s scary when the response is, “No need; it means X to us.”

    IANAL, so I personally find it even scarier when X is something like an incredibly verbose clause that their verbal explanation accounts to them wanting something for which there’s specific jargon, like first electronic rights. Makes me wonder why they don’t just use the jargon. And when they refuse to replace it with the jargon, I get suspicious.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.