A publishing contract outlines the duties of the publisher and the author. It can protect both parties from issues if it’s set correctly.
Authors should always take the time to review the terms of the contract. It’s easy to become so excited about having a publishing deal that you forget that publishers don’t always have your best interests at heart.
1. Check the rights for the work
The rights to the book are outlined in the contract. You should look for primary rights, which include the right for the publishing company to publish the work in specific formats. You also need to check for subsidiary rights.
2. Review the description of the work
The description of the work should include as much information as possible about what work you’re supposed to do. You may be able to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future.
3. Understand the royalty terms
Royalties are what the publisher pays the writer for each book that’s sold. The terms for this usually include wording that dictates payments based on the sale price of the book. It’s best to have the royalty terms spelled out as clearly as possible. This can help you to avoid bad shocks when you get your royalty checks.
Contracts in the entertainment industry are fickle. Making sure you have your best interests protected is crucial so you know you’ll get the money you worked hard for. Take the time to review contracts thoroughly, and consider having someone familiar with the industry review them as well. This could prevent you from having to deal with issues later.