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Humanist Archives: Dec. 11, 2019, 9:02 a.m. Humanist 33.483 - a question of contract

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 483.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2019-12-10 09:45:41+00:00
        From: Jessica M Otis 
        Subject: [Humanist] 33.470: a question of contract


It's impossible to know without reading the contract they signed with
the publisher, but it's likely they have a contractual obligation to
their original publisher.

Questions the author needs to consider while looking at their contract:

1) how was the first book described in the contract?  Is it vague enough
that it could apply to the second book as well?
2) what deadlines were placed in the contract for the delivery of
materials?  If the author has already missed them, what were the
contractual consequences for failing to meet those deadlines?
3) is there a non-compete clause, where the author promises not to
publish any book that substantially competes with the one they promised
to deliver to the press? (that is, arguably the new book)
4) did the contract give the press the right of first refusal on the
author's next book?

If the author no longer wants to work with the first press, I would
recommend they contact the press and ask to be released from their
contract (returning any royalty monies paid, if applicable) and get that
sorted before talking to other presses about a new proposal.

Dr. Jessica Otis
Assistant Professor of History
Director of Public Projects
Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
George Mason University

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