Things to Consider When Using a Book Publishing Contract Template

Having a book ready for publication is exciting. Failing to have a contract in place could put your intellectual property at risk and cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees fighting for your rights. While a book publishing contract template can be a great start, you must make sure you have customized it properly to meet your individual needs.

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PDF Template - book publishing contract template

Here is the best way to make sure your contract protects you completely.

Here is What We Will Discuss in This Tip Sheet

  • Contract Components
  • Additional Potentially Important Book Contract Clauses
  • Best Practices for Book Publishing Contracts
  • Additional Resources

Contract Components

The basics of all book publishing contracts are similar. When using a book publishing contract template, you will want to ensure the language in each clause is properly worded to provide you with the terms which you find acceptable. Any changes to any type of contract should always be made in writing and co-signed or initialed by both parties.

Here are the basic clauses you should review in a book publishing contract:

  • Author and Publisher Legal Names
  • Grant of Rights
  • Advances and Royalty Payouts
  • Understanding Subsidiary Rights
  • Maintaining Editorial Control
  • Options and Right-of-First Refusal
  • Consultation and Approval Rights
  • Warranty and Indemnity
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Signature Page and Date

Additional Potentially Important Book Contract Clauses

There are some additional clauses which you may wish to add to any book publishing contract template to provide you with further control over your manuscript and your final published book. Some of these include:

  • Manuscript Delivery and Acceptance — this section would define the agreement on when and how a manuscript is to be delivered to the publisher and establish a firm time frame for them to accept such a manuscript.
  • Rights Reversion — if the book goes out of print, the rights surrendered by the author often revert back to them.
  • Options on New Work — defines whether the publisher has the option to review new works by the author.
  • Limitations on Competing Works — clearly defines whether the author can develop an additional book of the same genre and submit to a different publisher.
  • Publication Details — this defines the publisher’s obligation to publish the book in a timely manner. The publication details should include a specific time frame, for example the terms may state the publisher must publish the book not later than 24 months following the delivery and acceptance of the manuscript.
  • Pricing of Work — your contract should clearly define any pricing changes which may occur for specific types of distribution. For example, audio book pricing, eBook pricing, etc.

Best Practices for Book Publishing Contracts

There are some parts of a book publishing contract template which you may wish to further customize to meet your needs. Today, this may be more important than ever. For example, you will want to determine if a manuscript should be available for today’s market by defining information about:

  • eBook Versions — if the manuscript is to be made available as an electronic download what distribution method(s) will be used.
  • Audio Book Versions — will the manuscript be used as an audio book and if so who will do the reading. Who is responsible for ensuring such a version is not available publicly or protecting rights in the event it is used on a publicly available site without payment.
  • Excerpts of Book Available Online — what excerpts will be available online and who bears the responsibility for determining what the excerpt should contain. Define whether audio and/or print excerpts should be available.

Additional Resources

Signature Requirements for a Book Publishing Contract

Once you have customized a book publishing contract template and you and the publisher have reached an agreement on the specifics, you will need to ensure the contract is properly executed. Only properly signed contracts are enforceable. Both parties should have a fully executed contract in their possession in the event there is any dispute which arises as a result of the book’s publication.

To ensure your book publishing contract is signed safely and securely, and both parties have access to a fully executed agreement, you can use Nitro Sign. This is a safe and secure option which allows you to track the receipt of your contract and you cantry Nitro Sign free today.

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