Question by Stephen B: Indie filmmaker trying to option a book…I have a very important question, please help???
I’m an independent filmmaker in NYC trying to find out the buying price for the rights to a book that was published in the early 80s. However, the publishing company, Stein & Day Publishing, went bankrupt in 1987 and sold their 1200 titles to SOMEWHERE, I am unable to find out WHERE, I can’t find out how to contact the author either (Guy Lyon Playfair), I’ve searched and searched with no accurate results. Mind you, the author and company are located in London, England.
How am I supposed to find out how much it is to option this book if I can’t find out who is owner of the rights now?
Answer by Your Favorite Writer
I am an author, and my biggest suggestion to you is that you contact the author first because the way rights work is that you may actually be dealing with the author’s agent if they have one FIRST, and the publisher SECOND. Likely, if the author has no agent, then you will be dealing with the author FIRST. This is because rights may be owned directly by the author and optioned through their lawyer, which is why in books you often see the author’s name next to the copyright, not the publisher, and also most authors within the last 50 years do not always stay with the same publisher unless they recieve wide acclaim and sell a lot of copies.
That said, I have some info for you that you might find interesting – Playfair is a researcher for the website “Survival After Death,” and his site biography is available at http://www.survivalafterdeath.org/researchers/playfair.htm
They might put you in contact with him.
He is also a contributer to the Fortean Times, so if you contact the editors, they may also forward a mesasge to him or his agent. http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/
I have also found that he had just recently published a book with “Vega” publishing, but I cannor find their website. They would also put you in contact with him.
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