In the last two blog posts you found a lot of tips for authors what to look for in a publishing contract. Now, imagine, you found a literary agent, and he’s landed you an offer from a publishing house. You have made it! Wrong! Publishing contracts should not be signed right away, even if you have an agent. Let your own lawyer (specialized on contract law) explain you the agreements and let your agent negotiate on your behalf.
Do you really need to know all the “small print”? Yes, every bit of the contract!
And yes, even if the book project never gets off the ground. Without appropriate contract provisions, it may end you up in a legal limbo. Read more about all the important contract clauses you might encounter and get the Book Contract Checklist:
Originally posted on Savvy Writers & e-Books online:
Traditional Publishing Contracts – Part Three of a Series
Signing a “Standard” Publishing Contract can have serious consequences for authors. A publisher’s standard agreement could contain a one-sided non-competition clause that prevents the author from using material from his manuscript in day-to-day business, such as blogs posts, magazine articles, even tweets. Or a clause in the contract might state that the author is prohibited to produce another work that competes with the title under contract without prior permission of the publisher. Well, what authors do with their time is their business, isn’t it? Shouldn’t they be able to write other books, for themselves or for other publishers? Are they slaves of the publisher?
Read the examples of book contract clauses here and in number two of this series (compare
them with your own contract) and find out “what it means” to you as the author:
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Tagged: Advances and Royalties, agent negotiating on your behalf, Book Contract Checklist, contract clauses, Contract Lawyer, Indemnity, Minimum Wage for Authors, Out-of-Print Book, Publishing contract, Reversed rights