Thursday, 10 November 2016

CHECK YOUR CONTRACTS

Contract checklist (per Australian Society of Authors)Before you sign, make sure you understand the implications of these clauses
Where your publisher offers their standard contract, check that it:
  • Has a firm date for publication
  • Has rising royalties, paid on recommended retail price, not net receipts
  • Gives approximate price and minimum print run
  • Has a revision clause
  • Binds the publisher to show you proofs
  • Defines responsibility for the cost of illustrations, indexing, photographs and so on
  • Has at least two accounting periods per year
  • Makes the publisher responsible for the loss of manuscript or book stocks
  • Has an effective termination clause.
Check also that it does not:
  • Assign copyright to the publisher
  • Assign digital/electronic rights to the publisher
  • Allow alterations without your consent
  • Allow royalties calculated on the price of sheets sold
  • Allow overstock or remainder sales within two years
  • Set a price for future Book Club sales
  • Take a share (other than agent’s commission) of non-print rights
  • Hold reserves beyond the second accounting date
  • Ask extended rights such as overseas rights without proof of ability to exploit them
  • Purport to assign or waive your moral rights
  • Include a consent to an act which otherwise would be a breach of your moral rights.
From Barbara Jefferis, Rob Pullen and Lynne Spender Australian Book Contracts 3rd edition (Keesing Press).
 

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