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Hachette Sues Seth Grahame-Smith

29 August 2016

From Locus:

Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Unholy Night (among other titles), is being sued by Hachette Book Group for breach of contract. The publisher is suing to recover the $500,000 (plus interest) they paid for a book they allege the author never delivered.

Hachette and Grahame-Smith made a $4 million deal for two new books following 2010’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, with $1 million paid on signing: $500,000 for each book. They published Grahame-Smith’sThe Last American Vampire in 2015, but despite offering extensions on the second book’s deadline, it never arrived.

Link to the rest at Locus and thanks to Kris for the tip.

Following is a copy of the Complaint with a copy of the publishing agreement as Exhibit A.

PG was not involved in the negotiation of the publishing agreement, but will observe it contains some provisions detrimental to the author that PG typically recommends be removed or modified.


Big Publishing, Contracts, Legal Stuff

8 Comments to “Hachette Sues Seth Grahame-Smith”

  1. By weird coincidence, last night we watched the movie version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. A clever inversion … but a joke that only had enough juice for maybe a half-hour long comic feature.

    • I felt exactly the same way about the book. The novelty wore off about 1/4 of the way through and I abandoned it.

    • Yes, that was exactly it! The trailers look gorgeous, and I’m a sucker for Austen retellings…but when I went to watch the movie, it was like a one trick pony that kept doing the same trick over and over.

      I stopped watching when, about 1/2 hour in, the girls were training in the basement, and all of them, Mary included, had the same technique and style. At the very least, each daughter would have a different fighting style, based on their personalities?

      Alas, it seemed that not much research had gone into the actual characters from the actual novel.

  2. He should pay them contingent on getting his full rights back to it with the ability to be his own publisher…and then self-publish it and make more than 500K. 😀

  3. It seems a little weird that Hachette a) included a clause that “each manuscript will be ‘original with author [Smith] in all respects'” and b) reject a submitted manuscript that “instead is in large part an appropriation of a 120-year-old public domain work.”

    I mean. Seth Grahame-Smith. Did they not read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? That’s what he does. It’s his whole schtick.

    Like, it reads like Hachette desperately wanted to jump aboard the Grahame-Smith train, gave him a ton of money, boarded, and then got upset when the train delivered them pretty much exactly where the map originally indicated it would have.

  4. I don’t know what the publisher expected of the author, but if he failed to deliver the book, then he’s in default, right? Even a bad contract is still a contract.

    • Grahame-Smith delivered a book, but the publisher rejected it. It was too copied, too short, too late and not pre-approved, according to the publisher.

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