March 23, 2011

I love justice. Also, bacon …


Lisa Skye with copies of I Love Bacon, and I Love Corn

An author who says her agent swiped her book project and turned it into a bestseller — for herself — has apparently won vindication in a lawsuit settlement.

A New York Daily News report says “Andrews McMeel Publishing agreed to offer Lisa Skye a contract for a cookbook on corn that she first self-published in 2007 in exchange for her dropping her sizzling Brooklyn Supreme Court suit.”

Skye had sued the publisher after it published I Love Bacon, a book credited to her former agent, Jayne Rockmill, that Skye says was her idea. According to Skye, “she signed an agreement with Rockmill to develop the pig-recipe primer and received a publishing offer before their relationship soured two years ago and the project was tabled.” Then, just last October, “McMeel went ahead and printed 38,000 copies of the book with the same title, concept and format, but with Rockmill as the author.”

According to the terms of the settlement, McMeel will now publish Skye’s book I Love Corn, and Rockmill has “agreed to divert a large portion of the proceeds from “I Love Bacon” to Skye’s charity, The Dougy Center in Portland, Oregon.”

The report adds a small but telling detail: “The settlement was announced hours after Judge Richard Allman barred any more copies of ‘I Love Bacon’ from being printed until the issue was resolved in arbitration.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives