Even writers with the best intentions sometimes find themselves in unfortunate situations with the self-publishing companies they work with. Typically, the writer ends up being disappointed with the partner’s work for many reasons. It could be that the book quality wasn’t up to par, or that the partner isn’t communicating as often as agreed. Regardless, many writers may believe that their book could have done a lot better if only they had worked with a better publisher. As such, a writer might be looking to get out of the contract they’ve signed with the publisher solely because of the publisher’s poor performance. At the least, the writer might want some form of compensation for it.
If this is the situation that you’re currently in, read carefully. It is in your right to address your grievances, but you need to know how to go about it carefully to ensure you do not get into unnecessary trouble. With that said, if your self-publishing partner isn’t living up to your expectations, here are the 4 Tips to Address Problems with Your Self-Publisher:
1. Check the Contract
The first thing you should always do when you want to “complain” to the self-publishing company is to check the contract. This is to help you identify any possible terms that the company may have broken. Also, you should do this to review the termination clause. This clause acts as your right to terminate the contract given if the publisher fails to meet the contract’s terms.
2. Make Known Any Breach in Contract
There are many causes that the company may have no clue that they’ve broken a term. Regardless, this doesn’t make it any less serious. If you notice any terms that the self-publishing company has breached, you must make it known to them that they have breached it. You can do this by sending a certified letter to the company, grabbing their attention, and motivating them to take the right action.
3. Ask to Fix the Problem in a Given Period
If you did not see any termination clause that may allow you to switch publishers, you could make a phone call to the partner stating the problem and asking it to be fixed in a given period. Make it clear what your expectations are and what the contract has said. Usually, being friendly on the get-go can help maintain your relationship with the company and even get the issue fixed. If it does get fixed, you’ve just avoided getting into costly legal action.
4. Share Your Intentions If the Problem Isn’t Fixed
If the self-publishing company doesn’t listen to your phone call, you can send them an email about the problems you face, what you expect to be done, and your intentions if the problems aren’t fixed. At this point, your message won’t be as friendly as the phone call you made, but this up in pressure and seriousness can be what’s needed to spark action.
Through all of the above efforts, you must never forget to hire a lawyer to be by your side. They know their way around the law, and with their assistance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your efforts to improve your relationship with the partner or ultimately ending are done with the highest chances of success. That being said, the next time you work with a self-publishing company, read the contract properly before signing. This can help you avoid trouble and ensure that you have a contract that works in your favor should the self-publishing company underperform.
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