Last week I began a new manuscript. It’s a story I’ve been thinking about for four or five years, and I’m excited to finally start work on it. But once the project got underway, I discovered I had a contractual problem.
You see, this story is a sequel to my novel, Butterfly’s Child, and when I signed the publishing contract for BC with Dreamspinner Press, they included a clause in that contract that they have first right of refusal for any sequels to that story. On the other hand, When I signed on with Bold Strokes Books last year to publish my last novel, The Plain of Bitter Honey, their contract held a clause that allowed them first right of refusal for all my future work.
So if I indeed moved forward with writing this sequel, contractually two publishers had first dibs.
My first thought was to change the names so that it couldn’t be considered a sequel, yet, I wrote Butterfly’s Child knowing this new story was in the works, and this new story builds on the first. I really wanted them to be linked and have the same characters.
I emailed Dreamspinner Press explaining my dilemma, and asked if it were possible for them to officially drop their rights to first refusal of my sequel. Within thirty minutes of sending the email, I received a gracious email dropping their first-refusal rights and wishing me luck on the new story.
Problem solved. Dreamspinner has always been supportive of me and my work. I consider them a first-rate company. The only reason I moved on from them is that they only publish gay romances, and my writing has moved on to a different genre.
Many Thanks, Dreamspinner Press. You guys/gals are wonderful.