Workshop 30: Deciphering A Publishing Contract
This was a fast-paced, fact-packed workshop by three industry professionals. Steve Laube, with the Steve Laube Agency,covered land mines which may give agents heart attacks, such as an author quoting a copyrighted song in a book. Never assume anything you quote is free! Always check first.
Next, Laube, Rick Acker, and Cara Putman, covered the main items in a contract, such as:
- The Option Clause: Which gives the publisher the right of first refusal to your next work and how to limit this right to the author’s advantage.
- Basket Accounting: Where all books in a contract must earn-out the author’s advance on royalties before any more royalties can be paid.
- Author’s right to audit the publisher’s sales and royalty statements (costly).
- Author copies:The negotiation over the number of author copies provided (as many as possible).
- Terms of reversion (make sure this is clearly delineated) were also discussed.
Even though I’ve signed book contracts, this workshop provided a good review for me. Well done.