How can I get out of a book contract?
I am signed to a publisher in America and they said in their advertisements that they pay their authors. I have gotten checks for $2. I want out of the contract. How could I bring this up to them?
Rusty.... first off, publishers most often have a certain quantity of book sales that have to occur prior to receiving royalties. You may not have met that minimum yet.
But regarding terminating contracts - you need to look over your terms of your agreement -...i.e.some publishers will stipulate you have to buy back any books that don't sell (of a specified quantity) in order to terminate the contract. Others have penalties and fees.
If you do not have a contract and/or it is not specified or clear.... be direct with them and ask them - What is the process for terminating our contract?
They most likely have stipulations outlined somewhere.
It is YOUR book... you are their customer, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and discuss anything about your arrangement that you do not agree with, are concerned about, or want to terminate.
I have represented several authors and know that, all too often, the agreements are not favorable for the writer. The payout is usually very low and it is difficult and expensive to verify the publisher's computations. That said, the only way to properly answer your question is to review your contract with the publisher. I suggest that you have an attorney review the document and advise you as to your options.
Most attorneys would need to see the contract language. Usually, properly drawn contracts have termination provisions and procedures. Its difficult to answer the question without a review of the contract. As an added thought, you might make sure you have qualified for bigger payments by having completed any conditions precedent.