Do You Understand Your Publishing Contract?

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:

Publication and Revised Editions:

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  1. Mandy

    Great information–thanks for posting this!

  2. Luckily I went through my nine-page-long contract with my husband Craig Harwood, whose acclaimed book “Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West” was published by University of Oklahoma Press. (I called that book his “other woman” as it took him 7 years to write it. 😉

    Anyway, his contract was fairly standard and so was mine, so Craig was familiar with my agreement. I made a fair number of revisions to it before signing, and to my relief Post Hill Press accepted all my changes. I’m sure I made a couple mistakes but nothing earth-shattering. I didn’t give up all of my rights! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this article as always, Lynette!

    1. I’m glad you don’t have any horror stories to share. I’m sure that it’s nice to have a hubby that knows the industry also. Many first-time writers don’t have a clue as to what is not beneficial to them until they get ready to publish their second book. I’m planning on self-publishing but in this industry, it’s good to keep up on all aspects. You never know when some information might come in handy.

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