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Author Topic: Amending a publishing agreement after parting with an agent  (Read 1489 times)
Tabris
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« on: February 01, 2017, 01:42:25 PM »

I'm talking with an author who has decided to part ways with his agent. The agent is the agent of record on a four-book deal but has also behaved very badly, so please take it for granted that the author is correct in wanting to part ways.

The agency agreement is up for renewal/nonrenewal sometime later this year, when the author will opt not to renew within the contract terms. But the four-book deal is still in process.

Here's my question: given that the author and the agent are not on cordial terms, once the author and agent are legally parted, would it be possible for the author to reach out to the publisher and ask them to amend their agreement such that the publisher will from now on cut two separate checks, one to the agent and one to the writer?

This will keep both agent and writer out of one another's hair forever more, but I've never heard of a writer actually doing this.
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JeanneG
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 12:45:03 PM »

The author should join Author's Guild. It costs $125 a year, and they offer free legal advice. They'll look over the existing contract and provide the proper wording to amend it.

JeanneG
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 01:33:50 PM »

I don't think so.

But, I really don't know for sure. I'd have your author friend hire an arts attorney for sure
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Tabris
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 01:42:16 PM »

Thanks. I'll let him know about the Author's Guild. The agent just claimed his entire royalty check as "expenses" due to her under their contract. I think he needs to go public with this story so no one else gets burned by the agent.
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 03:44:08 PM »

Hi. I parted ways with my first agent after she negotiated a deal for me. It was a small publisher, so on behalf of both us, the agent asked the publisher to send separate checks. No issue. I'm not sure if this works for larger publishers, but this author should ask.

As for this agent taking the entire royalty check, that's shady. This author needs legal representation, but also to check their contract for "expenses" paid by the author. That doesn't sound legit, but if it's in the contract it should also have a max amount/specifics. This author is also entitled to a list of these so called "expenses".

I'm sorry to hear this. It's a shame that this happens when agents are supposed to be trusted partners in this business. And yes, this agent should be reported for this behavior and whatever they did before that made the author say they "behaved very badly". I know when I split with my first agent, she did some things that I felt were unprofessional and I would not want to deal with a public mess, but authors can let others know anonymously as well.
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