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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10981
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am writing a book to a tight deadline. My publisher emailed

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I am writing a book to a tight deadline. My publisher emailed a contract, and asked me to print two copies and return them for his signature. I did so but have not received a copy with his signature added. Where do I stand, please?
1. The situation is that you have a contract with your publisher. Essentially, both signatures have to be added to a written agreement for there to be a concluded written agreement. So here, you should ask for a copy of the agreement with the publisher's signature attached to it. However, be aware, that an agreement can be oral as well as written. So you have an existing oral agreement with your publisher to publish the book you are writing. You have started performing this oral agreement. It effectively is the delivery of a book by a certain date with a certain proportion of royalties in return. However, the difference between the oral agreement you currently have and the written agreement you just signed but which has not been returned to you is that the oral agreement does not contain the detailed terms of the written agreement. However, there is still an agreement which is enforceable, even if it is oral.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If I remain without a signed copy of the contract, is my obligation to deliver a manuscript identical to my obligation if I did hold such a copy? And is the same true of the publisher with regard to my royalties?

2. I would suggest that you would be foolish to hand over the manuscript without having a copy of the contract you signed, also signed by the other publisher. Simply state the manuscript is ready for delivery once you get a copy of the signed agreement. It will then be amazing how quickly the signed agreement will be produced. An opportunity to make money never goes to waste!
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