1. Mitch445
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    Mitch445 Member

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    desktop publishing inquiry

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Mitch445, Mar 1, 2010.

    Hopefully this is the appropriate thread for such an inquiry. I just completed the 1st printing of my book. I'd like to make changes on the 2nd printing, but I'm wondering how to get my designer out of the picture (ya' see...he's VERY expensive and tends to overestimate project time) He provided me with a read-only pdf file. Do I need the original Indesign file with embedded fonts to make my own changes? If so, is he obligated to give it to me? And is it easy to screw up the lay-out if I were to apply my own changes to the original file? I'm not experienced in lay-out. I'm not sure how to handle this. Perhaps my printer can help me out? What would you all suggest?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    whether or not you can get and/or use/change the design you paid for depends on the terms of the contract you signed with the designer... and if you didn't have a contract in place for the work, you sure should have...

    your printer may or may not be able to help, but you still need to iron things out with the designer, first...
     
  3. Mitch445
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    Mitch445 Member

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    Oh man...designer contract? This doesn't sound good. He's a friend of my cousin. He designed book/cover, I paid him good money and credited him on copyright page. Even though I paid him, the design is his, and only he can make changes to it?
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    since you paid him for the work, it should be a work-for-hire property that you now own... but since you didn't have any contract in place, it may end up being a case of he said/he said, should he claim ownership of the design...

    do you have anything at all in writing that mentions what he'd do for you at what price?... did he send you a bill?... any email relating to the deal?

    this is not something you should ask about here, as none of us are literary attorneys... you really need to consult one asap!... be sure to have any/all paperwork ready to show him/her, to get the most mileage out of a consultation fee...

    best of luck with it... just don't do business with friends of friends from now on... and no matter who it is, do nothing without a contract!!!

    love and consoling hugs, maia
     
  5. Mitch445
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    Mitch445 Member

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    Cool...I got tons of e-mail correspondence, his bill has yet to arrive, and printer has informed me that job is nearly complete. I'll seek consultation if anything fishy happens. But I sure wish he'd give up the original indesign or Quark file. I can't afford him for edits to 2nd edition.

    Thanks for all the advice, Mamma. Contracts, contracts, contracts. Now that I think of it, I'm disappointed in myself for overlooking something so important.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Just remember: a verbal contract is only as good as the paper it is written upon.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i would definitely send him a formal request for the bill and mention therein that you expect to be provided with the actual files of the design work that you hired him to do for your book, upon receipt of payment in full...

    i do a lot of paralegal work and would be glad to help you word the letter properly/safely, if you want...

    hugs, m
     

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