Signing Book Contract Attorney Requirement

A recent lawsuit has been filed with the American Booksellers Association as one of the litigants versus Amazon.  Once again, price fixing is what’s behind the suit, and one can only hope that at some point sanity (and God willing, common sense) will enter into the equation.  I have apologized for letting legal issues routinely consume a substantial amount of space in my Newsletters, but if writers aren’t aware of what’s “out there,” mighty tough sledding can be in the offing.  And this involves writers at all levels and not just those starting out.  For example, I noticed on Tess Gerritsen’s personal blog that she registered her disappointment in the judge’s decision which prevents her from seeking damages for GRAVITY when it was used by New Line after it was sold originally to Time Warner (the parent company of New Line).

I am going to assume that Ms. Gerritsen is a great internist, which was her original profession, and her book sales have been outstanding, but she’s not an attorney.  Any more than I am or the vast majority of folks who sign book contracts.  This is why it’s paramount for a writer to spend the money on an attorney who specializes in intellectual property before signing any book deal.

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