Feigen Law Group
Los Angeles, CA
Tel: (310) 271-0606, Fax: (310) 274-0503
Ms. Feigen has practiced literary law since the mid 1970s. Literary law encompasses publishing contracts between individuals and publishers, joint venture agreements between co-authors, life and story rights of owners and authors, as well as writer, author and editor agreements for licensing their rights or for employment. Ms. Feigen’s clients’ books appear both in traditional form, as well as electronically in e-books.
Because the publishing industry has contracted over the past decade, leaving fewer publishers, the clout of those publishers has grown. Authors have fewer places to sell their work and publishers usually only focus on the bottom line, rather than the literary quality of writing for its own sake. Multi-national corporations, often based in Europe (for example Bertelsmann that owns Random House) care much less than the publishers of yore did about the quality of writing. What they want are commercial best-sellers and they do not want to pay much even for those. Furthermore, because the emphasis is on the bottom line, publishers discourage their editors from really editing. This has caused many highly acclaimed authors to hire private editors, and Ms. Feigen connects authors with editors so that the manuscripts need little if any work once submitted. These trends have made it necessary for authors to be well represented in their dealings with publishers. How royalties are defined, whether it is necessary to give the publisher an option on a second or third book and what electronic and performance rights are retained by the author are among the issues that, while constantly evolving, Ms. Feigen has been negotiating for almost thirty years. In short, her experience in dealing with these issues is key to the success of the author and the amount of money that is generated from his or her book.
With the advent of e-publishing, an entire new universe has opened. The Kindle, I-Pad and Nook are but three examples of how pricing changes mean less money paid to the author; the books are cheaper if they're downloaded. Of course, the publishers don't have to pay for paper, ink and other supplies, let alone shipping, the savings are kept by the publisher and not usually passed to the author.
Among Ms. Feigen's clients are authors whose manuscripts have been bought by Alfred A. Knopf, MacMillan, HarperCollins, McGraw Hill, Adams Media, Wiley, Dove Books and others. Sometimes Ms. Feigen advises her clients to “self-publish”, allowing a readership to develop before an attempt is made to enter into a publishing agreement with a major house. She was until recently involved in contract negotiations on behalf of a Nigerian novelist whose book was to be purchased by a British Film company to be made for adaptation into a movie to be distributed by a major Hollywood studio. She currently represents the books of two high profile individuals with memoirs, and, in the past, a former CNN producer's exposé. A strong transactional background as a lawyer, coupled with having served as a literary agent/manager and recently an acclaimed author of her own non-fiction book, make Ms. Feigen the ideal attorney to hire for negotiations involving literary works.