Sunday, Apr. 25, 2004 - 11:19 p.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Trees and Orchards do NOT a Legal Contract Make
Fuckity fuckity fuck.
I just got another email from the writer of the Bear book. The company STILL has not paid her a PENNY!! She had sent them a "pay within 30 days" registered letter in December... the thirty days was up Jan 5. They ignored it completely for 30 days and then sent her a condescending letter saying she was one of the 10 percent of "bad" writers who was pressuring them for money instead of being "understanding" that they will pay "when they can", and told her some story about cutting down the trees in the orchard instead of waiting for the apples.
Stupid asses. It was THEIR LAWYER who wrote that letter to her. I wonder exactly what kind of professional or personal faith we are supposed to have in them when they negotiate contracts to the letter with particular payment schedules, and then totally ignore said schedules. Imagine if we did that. Did the sketches for the drawings and then waited 6 months and said "look it's an investment... you are being a "bad" publisher for not understanding I have not gotten around to having time to do the finished work yet and don't know when i'll have the time".
The author now doesn't want to give them the text for her next book with the same Bear character (though she would like me to draw it)... I don't even know if I am allowed to in the contract. I'll have to check. Often you are not allowed to draw the "same or similar" character for another client. Even if it is the same author. Screw and fudge.
I cannot believe how stupid these people are. They owe the author something like $1500 Cdn, and me $500 Cdn. If they had paid her $150 a month since they first contacted me with her manuscript, and me $100 a month since I did the work, it would be paid off by now. But instead they are sending letters about being "bad" writers and "orchards and apples".
I mean really, if you hadn't made your car payment for 5-10 months, you would have your bloody car repossessed and your credit rating would be totally shot. I don't think you could write them a smarmy letter about how letting you have the car for free now, and not bugging you for money is an "investment" cuz you put your car payments towards some REALLY GREAT DEAL that will make LOTS of money in the future. Sheesh. Boggling.
Now I don't know what I am going to do. I suppose I will write them a letter. I will demand they pay me, but I guess I'll have to also demand that they pay the author. If they pay me, they will have the right to use my drawings, but no story. Youpee. And then I wouldn't be able to sell my drawings with another publisher if she manages to sell her story elsewhere. My drawings would be toast.
Ironically the book has been getting rave advance reviews, and they have lots of foreign distributors interested in rights. Which of course means that them paying US to KEEP the right (cuz if the contract is null and void they HAVE no copyright to print or sell the book) is an investment on THEIR PART. They have it totally backwards.
Sigh and deep sigh. If this falls through it will be the second book in my career that I have done all the color drawings for that never sees the light of day. It is all quite annoying.
Wish us luck. Or perhaps I should put up their actual address and telephone and email, and you could all send them letters, sort of like amnesty international for children's book creators. Glll.
Off to work on the OTHER book, the Far North one.
12:13 amI lied. I wrote a letter to the publisher, their inhouse contract lawyer, etc and sent a copy to the writer. Here goes:
To whom it may concern regarding BLAHBLAH Press and the book "Bear" by Ms. Author.
3 People have left cute, callous or caring comments on the wench's wordiness!!
ps, you'll need to email me for a username and password
Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily