1. Georgenglish

    Georgenglish New Member

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    Can I get out of a contract with an illustratot if I'm offered a publishing deal

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Georgenglish, May 21, 2017.

    Hi, this is my first post on this forum.

    I have written a book and have found an illustrator. I have sent her the book and we have verbally agreed to self-publish. We haven't signed a contract yet.

    Over the last few days I have shown the book to one of two people who think the book might be good enough to get a publishing deal.

    What if the illustrator did half the drawings and in the meantime I was offered a publishing deal?

    Ideally, I would like the illustrator to be kept on for the sketches in the book - she is an amazing artist.

    What if I got a publishing deal and the publisher wanted me as a writer and not her?

    If no contract has been signed, I guess I could sign the deal. How about if the illustrator and I have signed a contract can I get of it and go for my big chance with a publisher.

    I'm sorry if I sound self-interested. Like I said, if I did get a deal, I would like the illustrator to stay with me on the book (and yes, I know my chances of being offered a contract are very slim, I just wanted to know what I could do just in case it happened).

    Thank you in advance,

    George
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    It'll totally depend on the terms of the contract you sign with the illustrator. And even your verbal agreement could count as a contract in some jurisdictions, so, for legal as well as moral reasons, if you want out of the deal it's important that you tell the illustrator now that you want out, rather than waiting to see what happens with potential publishers.
     
  3. Georgenglish

    Georgenglish New Member

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    Thank you BayView.

    Money is not the option in the agreement. I am willing to pay the illustrator the agreed sum. She says she isn't interested in money but having her name on the book.

    What if I go ahead with self-publishing and give my best shot at marketing the book for a year or so. If I am not happy with the level of sales I am making, can I send the book to a publisher without the sketches. I can mention I have sketches also if they would like to see them, if they like my story.

    If I wrote the book and I'm paying the money can I take the book out of circulation and offer it to a trad publisher? Can the illustrator stop me from doing this if their name is on the book?

    I wondered if this kind of things happen amongst self-publishers and if I should put some clause in the contract with the illustrator now.

    Thanks in advance,

    George
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    It's pretty unlikely that a reputable publisher will be interested in taking on a book that's already been self-published and didn't sell well. If you're interested in finding a publisher, the time to do that is before you self-publish.

    In terms of the rest of it, you'll have to make sure you have terms in the contract to cover the issues you're considering. I've never had a co-creator on a project so I can't give you exact details, but in general, contracts can say whatever you want them to say, as long as there's nothing illegal/immoral.

    Looking at this from the perspective of the illustrator, I'd definitely expect the contract to have some terms to protect me from having my time wasted. So if I wasn't going to get the exposure I was hoping for, I'd be looking for a hefty kill fee...
     
  5. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    George, you need a lawyer in your country/district/whatever with specialist knowledge of creative collaboration contracts. We can't give you the answers you need regarding your specific situation.
     

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