For the last 2 weeks I’ve been examining the top ten funniest self-publishing contractual clauses from competitors and dissecting what the legalese means and why it’s “funny.” This week we’re doing the top three.
3rd Funniest Clause from the Competitor’s Contract – We may terminate this Agreement at any time by sending you an e-mail notice at the e-mail address associated with your account. Our notice of such termination will be effective at the time we send you the notice. Upon termination, you will pay us whatever fees were incurred prior to the date of the termination.
What it means: They can stop working with you and your book at any time for any reason with nothing more than an email, at which time you are still required to pay them whatever you owe them, regardless of whether they actually delivered upon the Agreement’s terms (since, you know, they’ve just terminated it).
Why it’s funny: Why isn’t it funny? And adding insult to injury are the other clauses in this particular competitor’s contract that I covered last week–after the contract is terminated, this publisher still gets to store your entire book’s content on its servers and continue displaying your book on its website, forever…)