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Publishers Contracts

Publishers Contracts



In this presentation, Gavin D. J. Harper explains basic publishing contract terms for the benefit of would-be writers!

In this presentation, Gavin D. J. Harper explains basic publishing contract terms for the benefit of would-be writers!



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    Publishers Contracts Publishers Contracts Presentation Transcript

    • Gavin D. J. Harper
      • Manuscript Prep. & Delivery
        • Provisional Title
        • Submission Date
        • How many printed pages?
        • How many words?
      • Multiple Authors
        • Names of Authors
        • How are rights apportioned
        • How is royalties apportioned
      • Right Conveyed
        • Who owns the copyright?
        • Derivative works rights
          • Internet Media
          • eBooks
          • Further Editions
      • Authors Warranty
        • The author states they have the ability to enter into this contract indemnifying the publisher against loss if material is supplied e.g./ that breaches copyright.
      • Competing Works Clause
        • The author agrees not to print a competing publication with another publisher.
        • There is usually a stipulation that …% of material can be reused in connection with author’s professional activities.
      • Right on next works clause
        • The publisher will usually ask for first refusal on the author’s next work.
      • Royalties
        • Advance
          • £/$/€……. Paid Before Publication on Receipt Of A Signed, Dated Contract
          • £/$/€……. Paid On Submission
          • [Sometimes] £/$/€……. Paid On Publication
        • Royalty
          • Amount equal to the advance must accrue before royalties are paid.
          • Royalties paid on a stepped scale based on sales numbers.
          • May be different rates for hard / paperback
      • Royalties
        • Royalty
          • Stepped Scale for Domestic Sales e.g./
          • 10% on first 10,000 copies
          • 12.5% on the next 5,000 copies
          • 15% on all copies sold thereafter.
        • Foreign Sales
          • Usually a fixed % (low)
        • Direct Marketing
          • fixed % for books sold direct to the reader e.g./ publishers website.
        • Special sales
          • sales from promotions – fixed %
      • Royalties
        • eBooks
          • % for books distributed electronically.
        • Translation & Subsidiary Rights
          • % of the publishers receipts from licensing the work to others.
        • Exercise of other rights
          • % for other rights not covered above.
        • Reserve Against Returns
          • % Held back by publisher as a reserve against returned copies.
      • Author’s Copies
        • The publisher will agree to supply … copies of the book to the author free of charge.
        • The author will have an option to buy further books at a heavily discounted price.
      • Revised Editions
        • The author will agree to make further revisions to the book as they become applicable.
        • If the author cannot make these revisions, the publisher will have them made by another author, in exchange for a fee or percentage of the royalty on revised editions.
      • Out Of Print
        • Definitions vary as to what constitutes ‘Out Of Print’
        • Once the publisher terminates publication of the book, rights revert wholly to the author [usually].
      • If this is your first book, the chances are… No. Publishers generally have standard rates for books which are generally inflexible.
      • If you already have a track record of successfully publishing books, have worked with the same publisher on numerous occassions, or have something ‘very special’ to offer, there may be room for negotiation.
      • Advance Too Low
      • Subsidiary Rights Issues
      • Royalties
        • Net & Gross Royalties
          • Royalties paid on ‘Net Reciepts’ tend to be about half the value of those paid on ‘Gross Receipts’
            • (The ‘Gross Price’ is the cover price of the book)
            • (The ‘Net Price’ is the cover price minus the publishers costs)
      • Who Owns The Copyright (Negotiate for author to own rather than the publisher.
      • ‘ Reserve against return’ Clauses
        • A publisher will hold a certain amount of royaties as a ‘reserve’ against books that are returned unsold by booksellers.
        • In the competitive world of bookselling, where publishers often have to offer concessions to booksellers in order to place books, deals are often arranged where seller offer to take a large amount of books on a ‘sale or return’ basis.
      • ‘ Late Penalty’ Clauses
      • No ‘Bankruptcy Clause’ (Especially important with smaller publishers.
      • Clauses that state author must repay advance if publisher cancels the book.
      • ‘ Non-competition’ clauses – publishers don’t want other books that will compete aganst those they have publisher, but at the same time, you need to write about what you know.