This one concerns an author who did the responsible thing (like Kris Rusch said in one of her posts) and checked her royalty statements...and figured out she had been shortchanged. Rather than try to rectify the situation, the publisher (Era Publications) came back at the author (we're not talking J. K. Rowling here) and terminated her contracts.
You might be saying, "So what?" right about now, because plenty of authors have had their contracts terminated. But here's the part that chilled me, taken directly from the author's special Facebook page:
Era Publications has no right to terminate my publishing agreements but if I want to prove the unlawful termination of my publishing agreements, I have to go to court and defend Era’s claim of damages.Again - So What?
Why is Era Publications suing me for damages? According to its Statement of Claim, the termination of my publishing agreements means that: “…[Era] has lost the opportunity to generate further profits…”
So Era Publications terminates my publishing agreements and sues me for damages because Era “has lost the opportunity to generate further profits...”
Maybe you're still shrugging your shoulders. "How much could they possibly sue an author for?" After all, most authors in the traditional system are not hugely monied like Stephen King or the aforementioned J. K. Rowling.
How about $506,000? However, if the author (Robyn Opie) coughs up $200,000 within 60 days, the suit goes away.
Do I have your attention now?
Everybody Has Tons of Money in the Bank, Right?
Of course, everyone I know has a stray $200,000 in a bank, or several banks. (I know I do. ::eyeroll::) Anyway, just read where Era came up with the $506,000 figure. Pulping books? Costs for publishing other books instead of Ms. Opie's?
Pulping books? Isn't that something the PUBLISHERS came up with decades ago? Isn't that part of the cost of the publishing business? (Silly as it is.)
Costs for publishing books other than the author's? Wait...wasn't Era the one who terminated the contracts? Whose fault is it that the author's books are no longer being printed by the publisher?
Disgusting. Era should be ashamed of themselves, and should drop the suit.
I hope Ms. Opie comes out of this okay, without having to pay one red cent.