KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

If the following clause in the WCP original contract has not been adhered to by the publisher -- and it hasn't according to our sources --  it constitutes a breach of contract, and all rights revert back to the authors.
"Royalties will be accumulated and paid no later than forty-five (45) days following the end of each calendar quarter."

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, so does that mean even if we signed the second contract we can still get out of it?

Admin said...

If the first contract is null and void, it means the second one is worthless. This may be the way out for those authors who signed the second contract and now regret having done so.

Anonymous said...

Not sure there as if you signed the 2nd, there is a clause in there agreeing not to get your back royalties for 6 months. It's going to be a long wait to see there. At least that's how that clause was explained to me when I sent it to someone. Two someones, actually. It may get you out, but you're going to have to wait a while. Those of us that didn't might have a better shot and shorter wait time.

John Braithwaitte said...

"By signing this letter, you agree that your agreement(s) with Whiskey Creek Press shall be assigned to Start Publishing,"
But if the agreement with WCP is null and void, there is nothing to assign.

Anonymous said...

It looks as if WCP and their little scheme with Start is a non-starter. (pun) :-)

John Braithwaitte said...

The authors need to contact WCP and tell them that they have reclaimed their rights, due to the breach of contract regarding royalty payments, and to remove their books from sale.

Zoe said...

I wonder why WCP deleted the creekauthors group?

Anonymous said...

@Zoe
Well I'd say that's pretty obvious. They didn't want the authors discussing the Start Media deal. What they didn't know was that someone already had a list of the author's emails and we've kept in the loop that way thanks to them.

Anonymous said...

So does that mean that if you have not yet been paid for the first quarter of 2014 (Jan-March 2014) they are now in breach of contract? Or does it apply to the fourth quarter of 2013 as I think it is usually a quarter behind?

CR said...

"Royalties will be accumulated and paid no later than forty-five (45) days following the end of each calendar quarter."
The contract states that royalties will be paid 45 days after the end of 'each' calender quarter. So the Jan-March '14 royalties should have been paid on or before May 14.

Anonymous said...

And were they?

Repo Man said...

The October-December 2013 royalties should have been paid on or before January 14. But were they?

If not, then the contract has been breached by WCP and the authors are out.

Anonymous said...

"The authors need to contact WCP and tell them that they have reclaimed their rights, due to the breach of contract regarding royalty payments, and to remove their books from sale. "

From my bank statement, it appears that the royalties for the first quarter were paid a week beyond the 45 days. Does anyone know if anyone has attempted to get their rights back by claiming breach of contract based on this clause?

Vixon said...

I'm no longer with WCP, thank gawd. My contract expired last year. I've checked back in my files and there were late payments.

The royalty payments should be made no later than May 15, August 15, November 14 and February 14.

The late payments I received are as follows:
In 2010, I received one royalty payment on November 28.
In 2011, one payment on August 17, and another on November 17.
In 2013, a payment on Feb 15, and August 21



Anonymous said...

@ Vixon
That was a clear breach of the contract. They absolutely must pay royalties right on time, as they're supposed to.

Vixon said...

The only way out of this is to file a class action lawsuit. It wouldn't cost too much in legal fees that way.

Serena Pettus said...

They are in breach with the sale too folks! The contract states that whomever purchases WCP is bound by the terms until the contract is up. So telling us to take a 10% cut in royalties is another breach

Serena Pettus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

@Serena the contract states that whomever purchases is bound 'at a minimum' to the terms. By signing the second contract, it gives them the okay to change those terms. By not signing, the terms the author originally signed remain in force for the remainder of the contract. It isn't a breach to propose a 10% cut, no one was obligated to sign.

Mary Jane said...

"By not signing, the terms the author originally signed remain in force for the remainder of the contract."
Not if WCP is out of business they don't. I can't think of a greater breach of contract than that.

Anonymous said...

@Mary Jane

You're right. How could the Womacks live up to what they're supposed to do in that contract, if they no longer own the company?

Repo Man said...

"It isn't a breach to propose a 10% cut, no one was obligated to sign."

Tell that to Steve Womack, who has been telling authors that they HAVE TO SIGN!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hired a literary lawyer to look at both contracts a few days after the letter came out. If you didn't sign the second contract, Start acquires your current contract for whatever time remains on it under the terms stated in that contract. Womack may have told people they had to sign, but that doesn't mean they did.

Anonymous said...

The above, of course, is assuming the deal goes through. If Start doesn't buy, I would guess that second contract is void. If WCP goes under without a buyer to bail them out, all rights revert to the author if they file bankruptcy per the terms of the WCP contract.

DM said...

From all six of my WCP contracts...
If the Publisher sells its assets to another publisher who does or plans to market and promote books of the type and genre of the Work, the successor publisher will be bound, as a minimum, to the same terms delineated in this agreement. If the successor publisher does not or does not plan to market and promote books of the type and genre of the Work, all rights delineated in Section I shall revert to the Author not more than thirty days after the sale of Publisher. The purchasing publisher is responsible to contact Publisher’s Author.

My guess? Start wanted to supersede that so they didn't have to pay the rate. So, he wanted the Womacks to push the other on people. They didn't try that crap with me. They didn't try to talk me into it, bully me, anything, they shot me to the idiot at Start. Who got exactly nowhere with me. I knew it would be pretty when the first email I got from him asked 'are you refusing to sign the contract?' When the email Womack sent made it as clear as I could get without the use of interactive drawings that I was.

Anonymous said...

@DM

Good for you for sticking to your guns.

Anonymous said...

@DM
I also got a call from Start.. Guess I was being a bit of a squeaky wheel. He got nowhere with me either. Found him to be evasive and condescending to say the least.

DM said...

I didn't get a call, mine was all strictly via email. Then again, the screaming email Stephen got from me probably made it to where he realized it wasn't wise to call me. And the idiot from Stuart didn't get anywhere either. As irate as I was, something obvious, he didn't try much. So far, I've gotten one book out and down from WCP's site. There are four more I'm trying with, pulling out the clause about royalties and statements. He's added Stephen to the email conversation, wanting him to handle it. We haven't heard a peep from him, no surprise there, and I don't expect to. What I'm expecting is that he's going to draw it out until that sale goes through then land it all in Start's lap for them to deal with. That's fine, too, as Start has more assets than WCP did, thus a juicier target that solicitors would love to go after.

I'll be honest that, up until the start of the nightmare late last year when we had to deal with that 'snafu' with the royalty statements, I took no issue and had no problem with WCP. I was happy with my covers. Of the six editors I dealt with, I only had problems with two. One was just horrid and the other was the kind you wanted to slap for being bitchy. Other than that, I had no problems with WCP in general. Emails were always answered in a timely manner. I dealt with all of them more than once on various issues, like when the site was getting the Red Screen 'O Doom when they were hacked. Stephen spent plenty of time with me trying to figure out why I was still getting it and if it was a site problem (it was if I remember right as there were six of us from various parts of the country on different ISPs getting the same thing). I got periodic emails asking what I was doing and expressing interest in publishing what it was. Any problems or questions I had, they dealt with quickly and politely. Royalties and statements came in on time. All of it. That stopped when I got someone elses statement last year then the blank one this year. Which saddens and angers me. I always had a good word to say about them and was happy with what was going on. Talk about feeling like being stabbed in the back. Now this... polite and nice ended when that crap hit my email box. Coupled with the authors group going before it hit, something I don't see as a coincidence or for the reason they touted on their FB page. It was to stop the howling and passing of information, IMO.

I also find it the height of irony what they posted today on FB
https://www.facebook.com/whiskeycreekpress
See the post that says Five Rules to Live A Happier Life. Number four—yeah—maybe they should apply that to themselves.

Mary Jane said...

I can't believe how many authors who have signed the letter of agreement, think they'll get their books back after their contract expires in a couple of years. OMG! As Start now owns the copyright forever, they will NEVER get their books back. Please spread the word, and help prevent others from making the same mistake.

Luvbooks said...

NEVER sign anything, until you've run it past a lawyer. Yeah, I know they're pricey, but they could save you a ton of money and grief later on.

CR said...

“Section 203 of the Copyright Act allows the creator of a copyrighted work, who, during her lifetime, has transferred all or some of the rights to the work on or after January 1, 1978, to terminate the transfer and regain the rights after a certain period of time — generally, at least 35 years from the date of grant or from publication. The earliest Section 203 terminations of transfers will take effect in 2013. Section 203 was enacted to give authors the opportunity to regain rights they may have signed away when they had little bargaining power. It gives authors a second bite of the apple, a second chance to exploit the rights in and benefit from the works they created.”
http://www.authorsguild.org/member-benefits/legal-services/terminating-transfers/

Anonymous said...

Oh my lord, so we have to wait 35 years to get our rights back. This is like some sort of futuristic nightmare. All I did was electronically sign my name on that letter of agreement, and there went my rights for 35 years.

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