Bloomsbury has had several authors pledge to never publish books with them, it’s seen thousands of readers say they’ll never buy their books going forward, and voices on both sides of the political aisle have slammed them for their suppression of free speech, but their cup of woes might not yet be full: they will soon have a legal battle on their hands.
The authors of the book Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story have sent Bloomsbury a notice, saying that their actions in withdrawing from the book amounts to a breach of contract. “This is a breach of contract, unethical and unprofessional conduct,” wrote the book’s author Monika Arora in an email to Bloomsbury executives. “This will invite Civil and Criminal liability and you will be liable to pay damages to the authors for damaging their reputation, disowning them publicly, causing mental agony to not only the authors but to millions of people who believed in you, who wanted to order the book, read the book and who wasted their time and energy on Amazon, searching and pre ordering the book which you have withdrawn without information to the authors and thereby made unavailable,” she added. Incidentally, author Monika Arora is also an advocate in the Supreme Court.
“All copyrights are with you, all material is with you, all previous drafts are with you. We designed the cover which was done and redone by your team and our team over the past one month and the final designed cover sent to you by the authors and you approved it. All out intellectual property is with you,” the email said. “Withdrawing minutes before its launching, removing the link from Amazon so that people cannot place orders, not communicating to the authors about the status of their hard work approved and published by you as 100 copies supplied and not communicating to the authors even 24 hours after you dumped them is nothing less than a conspiracy to kill the book,” Monika Arora added.
Bloomsbury had yesterday caved in to pressure from leftist extremists, who had led a Twitter mob to stop the release of the book. Moments after the launch event of the book had taken place, in which filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, OpIndia editor Nupur Sharma and politician Kapil Mishra were chief guests, Bloomsbury had announced that it would no longer be publishing the book. This had immediately met with a response from several authors, including Sanjeev Sanyal, Anand Ranganathan, Sanjay Dixit, Harsh Gupta and Shefali Vaidya, who’d said they wouldn’t publish books with Bloomsbury going forward. Thousands of readers had also taken to Twitter to announce that they would be boycotting Bloomsbury’s books in protest.