4 Things to Check For in your Traditional Publishing Contract
- Make sure you are absolutely certain of what is being licensed to your publisher.
- In an article published for the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook online, Caroline Walsh states that, "for a new book one expects to grant the publisher, for the legal term of copyright, the exclusive right to publish and sell the work in certain forms".
- These rights will most often be granted in something called "volume form", which covers all kinds of book format.
- Your contract may also make reference to other forms of publication, so make sure that you read it through thoroughly and that you understand exactly what is included in your deal.
- This refers to the territories in which the publisher is licensed to sell your book.
- English language rights can be sold in two mutually exclusive territories: the UK and Traditional British Commonwealth (this may or may not include Canada); and the USA, its dependencies and the Philippines.
- The rest of the world is considered to be an open market.
- Walsh advises, “When thinking of granting a wide range of territories to a publisher, it is worth checking out how proactive and successful their foreign rights department is”.
3. Delivery & Publication
- Included in your contract should be clauses that certify the agreed delivery date of the book, and that indicate what is expected from you as the author.
- There should also be something from the publisher that states the time period within which they will publish your work.
- As Walsh rightly points out, “As you are licensing your work, you should retain copyright”. As such, there should be a clause that obliges the publisher to include a copyright line in every edition of your work that they publish.
- Look out for this line – make sure that it is there!
And for more information regarding Royalties, please check out next month's edition of "The Write Stuff".