Friday, March 7, 2014

Publishing Contracts 101

I'm a huge advocate for educating yourself and being proactive with your career. Writing is a difficult and complicated career, even when you have a fabulous agent and editor.
Whether you don't have an agent and are navigating a small press by yourself, or you are agented and are wondering what all these terms you're hearing mean, or you're a writer trying to figure out goes on in this business, the resources below can give you a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes.
A note of advice: publishing terms vary from place to place, information quickly becomes outdated as technology advances, and your agent is your greatest advocate. I'd recommend treating these as one source of information, not a guide to your career.

Nathan Bransford has some older but very helpful introductory posts:

A Book Publishing Glossary
How A Book Gets Published
The Basics of Publishing Contracts
The blog for Wolf Literary Services has a series of posts called “Contracts 101″ that are well-worth reading:
Contracts 101: List of Specific Rights (part 2)

Agent Kristin Nelson at the Nelson Literary Agency (brilliant, fabulous, knowledgeable) has a fantastic series on the nuts and bolts of contract content and protocol. These are definitely worth reading:

Agenting 101: How To Handle An Editor's Call with An Offer
Agenting 101: The Deal Points
Agenting 101: Grant of Rights
Agenting 101: Advance
Agenting 101: Payout
Agenting 101: Payout Explained
Agenting 101: Royalties
Agenting 101: Royalties Some More
Agenting 101: Bonus
Agenting 101: Bonus Clarification
Agenting 101: Option Clause
Agenting 101: Conclusion
Agenting 101: Revisited: No-Compete
Agenting 101: Revisited: Author Warranties
Agenting 101: Royalty Statements: Accounting Periods
Agenting 101: Random House Royalty Statement
Agenting 101: Royalty Statements: Reconciliation To Print
Agenting 101: Royalty Statements: Sales by Account
Agenting 101: Royalty Statements: Lack of Detail

Again, some of these posts are a few years old, so keep that in mind. But this is a great list of resources that can help you understand the basics and recognize terms when you see them. Happy reading!


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