Bestselling author Karen Drogin, better known to her readers as Carly Phillips, has filed suit in Federal district court in Manhattan to block Kensington Publishers from republishing a series of older novels originally released under her real name. Drogin claims that Kensington is prohibited from using the pseudonym Carly Phillips without her permission, and is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop use of the pseudonym.
Kensington general counsel Barbara Bennett told PW that Kensington intends to publish the older novels with a title page that states the books are by Carly Phillips writing as Karen Drogin.
In a statement, Drogin said she was concerned that the early books would not reflect the quality of her writing today: "I believe in giving my readers the best story I can. These are my earlier books, and while I am proud of them, they are not new books and I don't believe they reflect my current writing quality and style as Carly Phillips."
Drogin complained that Kensington had not consulted with her about the reissues and that she became aware of plans to reprint the older novels when she received page proofs in the mail. Drogin is the author of 18 novels. She is now published by Warner Books. Her latest novel is The Playboy, which is listed at number 10 on PW's trade paperback bestseller list.
David Wolff, Drogin's attorney, told PW that Drogin has two written agreements with Kensington that prohibit the use of "any pseudonym" without the agreement of both parties. Wolff claims that at the time of the agreements, Drogin had an "exclusive contract" with Harlequin to publish under the Carly Phillips pseudonym.
Drogin is represented by agent Robert Gottlieb, who told PW, "Kensington is trying to trade on a successful pseudonym. Carly Phillips is a registered trademark. Karen intends to protect her name and she does not want her readers to be misled."
Bennett disputed the contention that there are agreements that prohibit Kensington from using the disputed pseudonym. "That is not our position," said Bennett. "We are publishing the books in accordance with the provisions of her contract. We're confident that we'll prevail in court."