The Legal End of Writing


Legal resources: 

  • Contracts issues,
  • Drafting and negotiating contracts is viewed by some publishers as wasteful and time consuming. “It gets in the way of the fun stuff.” “Attorneys cost money.” “Most books don’t earn back their advance.” These are three common (and potentially devastating) justifications that owners of publishing companies give for not paying attention to their boilerplate contacts. Similarly, many authors lack the courage that Oliver Twist exhibited when he rose from the table and said, “Please sir, I want some more.”Standardized contracts are powerful negotiation tools. Many authors will simply sign them. However, whether an author or publisher, a “one size fits all” book contract may have unexpected and unfair consequences. Problems often arise when publishers borrow entire agreements and fail to conform the “borrowed” agreement to their business model (or their author’s legitimate needs). Sometimes, lacking the necessary business acumen, a start-up publisher may delete important provisions that they do not fully understand.
  • Excerpt from Lloyd J. Jassin book on Copyrights issues.

Sample  contracts

  • Interview contract
  • Publishing contract
  • Legal Q&A

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