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 Posted: Fri Dec 4th, 2009 03:25 pm
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emjaydee
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Mana: 
Just received an offer to publish. I contacted another publisher saying as much, and they asked me to hold off for about a week in order to review the manuscript.

In terms of the former publisher, does one say anything to them, just wait? What is appropriate in such a situation?

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 Posted: Sat Dec 5th, 2009 02:16 am
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in media res
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Mana: 
This is good news, but to cover yourself just say "I am out of town on vacation with my family, and will get back to you when I return in ten (or whatever amount of days -weeks - you want) days.

Something like that.

No big deal.

And, I also say this with the utmost concern, join The Dramatists Guild of America and run it by their lawyers before you sign shit...(er...I mean anything.) It will cost you about 75 bucks a year. Divide 75 into 365 and you can do the math. Some few cents a day.

You don't want to sign away any rights they do not deserve, such as movie or other media rights or new media any other FUTURE NEW MEDIA RIGHTS, as we do not know what the future of media is. As a Member of Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA for over 30 years and who has made a very good living as an actor, I can tell you this is a most important stipulation in the age of instantaneous new media morph creation.

Often publishers try to do these kind of offers to unwitting writers - and I don't mean to imply you are in any way unwitting - but the DGA - Directors Guild of America -/SAG/AFTRA/AEA/Dramatists Guild of America have a looooooong history of knowledge and experience. Don't go in a virgin without a prophylactic (to be extremely blunt) and be left in the lurch. The rights of your play strictly belong to YOU!!!!! Unless you unwittingly give it away or are seduced away.

As I have reiterated OVER AND OVER for years on this Forum THE UPCOMING LATIN PHRASE as well as in other venues where I am asked to speak to young artists (and I do not mean by "young" their age) "IN CAVEAT EMPTOR- LET THE BUYER BEWARE."

I won the Consumer Economics Medal as a sophomore in High School and believe me this Latin phrase has saved my ass in many different venues throughout my life, from buying cars, houses, apartment buildings, stock and bonds and oh so many things. If only our great brokerage and investments houses had remembered this Roman phrase prior to our current financial debacle - The Great Recession!) Those Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Princeton, Wharton, Kellogg (from Northwestern near where I am) boys and girls - and I do not mean men or women and I include their instructors - really screwed it up.

If the publisher says, "This is our standard contract" beware. Their Standard is not YOUR standard, get what I mean? I have dealt with this as a writer and moreso as a successful actor for over 30 years. Sign NOTHING until you are satisfied and ...get professional help, meaning The Dramatists Guild as a writer and SAG, AFTRA, AEA franchised agents as a performer. It has done me very well.

REMEMBER THIS AND KEEP IT CLOSE TO THE CHIN:

BETTER TO HAVE NO DEAL THAN A BAD DEAL.

If you sign a bad deal you have no recourse. And will regret it the rest of your life.

As Richard Garmise, once chief attorney for The Dramatists Guild and now head of his own legal firm said 15 years ago at a workshop here in Chicago:

"If you had ten children, you wouldn't let any one of them play in traffic."

And the other he said was, "Of all the Board Members of The Dramatists Guild - famous playwrights all - all have acknowledged most of their money that has kept them alive comes from only one or two of their plays written over their lifetimes. No one could have predicted which play it would have been at the time. So protect them all as if it were YOUR life."

I can assure you this is almost verbatim from a very wise attorney, the Mr. Richard Garmise. You can google him. Pay attention.

I speak to college and university students every year and I tell them "Don't screw around with your lives. And especially don't screw around with your creative lives."

"Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable." - Friar Laurence, "Romeo and Juliet"

best,

in media res

P.S. Congratulations and let us know how it turns out.

Last edited on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 03:21 am by in media res

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