Author Topic: Puzzled  (Read 11697 times)

Offline DaveKuzminski

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Re: Puzzled
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2007, 10:15:24 AM »
If you want me to look at something, it's all right to send me an email at prededitors@att.net . Be sure to include names and attach documentation. When the documentation consists of emails from the other party, I prefer those be forwarded separately because that permits me to see where the emails really originated. Yeah, even if it means receiving twenty or more (the record is 56) different emails.

Regarding this thread, I think it should stay. The only thing that took place is a discussion of an offer. There's nothing offensive been said about the other party making the offer so there's really nothing to sweat.

You might want to create a topic, though, that guides writers through a simple list which many of you can add to since we all tend to overlook simple things that often are done without thinking. For instance, one item might be that writers should never throw away emails from the agents/editor-publishers/editing services they might contact and should always make a copy of their own. A lot of email programs permit stashing those in special folders that should maintain the hidden headers. Then it should be possible for most email programs to have those transferred back to the active inbox for forwarding should a problem emerge.

Same goes for any papers (contracts, for instance) sent through the mail. Make a copy by scanning it. Be sure to use a setting that creates a small file. Don't let it default to BMP as those are often huge. Then if someone at another location needs to refer to something that was on paper, it's a simple matter of attaching the scanned document file to your email.

Unless absolutely necessary, never make decisions about your writing over the phone. Use email as much as possible because it creates a document that will stand up in court. Remember those hidden headers? Now you know one of the several reasons why you want to preserve those. Now this is not to say that all decisions can't be made over the phone. Remember, we're talking about acceptances and pricing decisions. It's quite another thing to discuss the wording in a paragraph prior to sending the proof to printing or other similar non-critical decision problems. Non-critical meaning it doesn't apply to the contract issues that could hurt you.

Another reason for email is most people will not send an email with a deliberate insult in it that might be used against them in court. So email tends to protect you by discouraging you from putting down something that you know could come back to haunt you. Yes, I know that some folks aren't discouraged by anything.

Also, there are some known scammers out there who want to conduct business over the phone for several reasons. Phone calls avoid creating documentation. They can use any phone recordings against you because there are states that prohibit recording conversations without giving notice to both parties. You might win in court, but you could lose everything you gained by having the state fine you and possibly even incarcerate you.

Anyway, this is a start. More will occur to me later. I'm sure others can add onto this list so that a well-balanced guide of how to protect yourself against later problems will be available to writers.

Offline audal

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Re: Puzzled
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2007, 10:47:07 AM »
Adding to Dave's wisdom, I'd like to also post a link to the "Warnigs" section of his very own site Preditors & Editors, which was what encouraged those alarm bells to sound.  It is only a part of the homework a writer must do, but on a basic level, this information is invaluable.

So when in doubt about an issue similar to the one I faced, look here: http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubwarn.htm
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Offline DaveKuzminski

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Re: Puzzled
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2007, 10:54:46 AM »
Never let anyone rush you. If they state they need a decision right then, odds are they're trying to stampede you into a wrong decision for your interests. That's another reason why scammers like to talk to you on the phone. Many of them are confidence men (or women) whose voices just exude a feeling of being on your side. When they're restricted to email, they lose one of their weapons of persuasion. Also, it's easier for you to notice when they're avoiding your questions when their answers are written down.

Offline audal

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Re: Puzzled
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2007, 03:41:29 PM »
Another tidbit I found sketchy right from the get-go was that the very first email correspondence from the publisher (which contained agreement #1 and was evidently sent to all contributors in the BCC field) opened with a greeting along the lines of "Hello there my good friends," and ended with "Enjoy The Day!"  I may be truly nitpicking, but it just reeked of unnecessary good will and an attempted "seduction," if you will.

One more covering-my-bases question... Next week I will be sending an email to the organizer/producer (but not the publisher) telling him that I do not wish to be a part of the project.  I expect a prickly why-the-hell-not? response.  I will under no circumstance name any of the names or websites that helped me reach my conclusion, but I would like to say something along the lines of this:

After careful consideration, as well as consultation from writers well-schooled in contract law, I am just not comfortable being involved in the project and request that you remove my name and work from the compilation.

Might I also add:

I would like to suggest that you yourself seek out a third party legal opinion before signing off on the project, as there seem to be provisions within said contract that might not be in your best interest.

Thoughts?

My feeling is that if I can offer this olive branch (which I don't have to do at all), it will help the man understand why I'm bowing out.  What I remember from the original production is that he was very tunnel-visioned about this & was steadfast in his belief that this back-alley theater production was destined for greatness.  If so, it wouldn't have taken seven years to get there, no?

Anyway, that's my latest question.  Hopefully I'll be done soon & thanks again...

More karma!

Thoughts?
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Offline joanjunkmail

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Re: Puzzled
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2007, 04:26:16 PM »
I like both of your ideas.  If your 3pages are the deal breaker (no matter how wonderful they are), then something is definitely awry and they should run away.

good luck with it.
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