Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Contests and Contracts

Rejecter, enjoying your responses to these questions. Something similar here: I'm waiting a long time for the results of a contest. It says in the rules that should you become the winner, they have the sole exclusive rights to option the winning novel. (But there are several types of winners in this contest, and the rules don't specify which kind of winner.) In the year I've been waiting for the results of this contest, the novel has been requested by a top editor at a top house. Should I become, let's say, one of the winners of this contest, am I somehow able to get out of the exclusive option should the top publisher be interested in acquiring the book? Thanks a lot.

So I'm not completely sure about contest contracts, as I've never seen one in person and they tend to be such limited deals that I have no reason to, but what you should do is call the people running the contest and ask them. Don't pull out of the contest yet, if you're still in the running, as the editor at the publishing house may very well not buy your book and then you'll be high-and-dry. Just inquire as to what you are supposed to do if you get an offer for the novel during what seems like an excessively long (don't use those words) waiting period. Tell them you really care about the contest the most, which is why you're making sure everything is fine on their end and there's no legal misunderstandings.

If you don't have a phone number, email them. If they are a business or a charity, look up their number in a business directory.


Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for answering my question so quickly, Rejecter. I already emailed them a while back, and they said if we get another offer for publication, we can drop out of the contest. But the results of the contest are coming out any day now...and I think I'll just wait and see what happens. Of course it would be nice to win and get published by them; but I'm hoping I can use the contest results to further my cause with the big pub. If the news is really good, hopefully an agent can do it for me. Ah, the suspense is killing me.

L.C. Gant said...

Great question, Anon! I've never thought about things like contest contracts before. Very intriguing. Good luck with your entry, and thanks for the great response, Rejecter!