Authors deal with a variety of contracts … here’s a couple of tips to add to your radar screen:
Know the Difference between Exclusive and Nonexclusive Contracts
Don’t give everything away. I get it—you are thrilled that a publisher (or anyone) is interested in your book. Breathe and know what you are letting others do with your work. When it comes to the self-publishing companies (the ones that you pay to publish your book), do not, do not, do not give EXCLUSIVE anything. That means file/screen/TV rights, subsidiary rights, rights to subsequent work, electronic rights, NOTHING.
Tip: Business attorney Helen Sedwick (HelenSedwick.com) and author of the Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook advises that you only want to consider signing exclusive with a traditional publisher—one that pays you a reasonable advance that shows it has an investment in you and your work. Companies that you are paying to manufacturer your work are not entitled to have the rights to any of your work—that means you retain ALL rights.
Know that Your Copyright Could Be in Jeopardy
Authors are so excited when a “deal” is offered that in reality, few really read their contracts, signing them blindly in their enthusiasm. Don’t. If there is ever a time to engage a few hours of an intellectual attorney’s time, a literary contract is it. Contracts are created for the befit of a publisher or publishing service provider. Don’t be fooled.
Tip: Don’t sign anything until you read it, ask questions and make sure you understand it. When in doubt, get a consult pronto with a business or intellectual property attorney.
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 34 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #34 was published this summer: The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors & Writers. Get your copy.
Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2015, the dates are August 27-29th. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow .
Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.
Author U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.
If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen