What is a book contract?
A book contract is the legally binding agreement between an author and their book publisher, which goes into minute detail about who owns the rights to what, highlighting what is expected from both parties during and after the book production, whilst mentioning how much money the author will receive in royalties.
What should a book publishing contract include?
- The physical aspects of the books development, this should include information on any editing which may be required, the formatting and layout of the book, whether any aspects should be tweaked by the author to improve the quality of the piece, as well as delivery dates of when the author’s manuscript is scheduled to be delivered.
- Issues regarding the assignment of the authors copyright along with outlining the publisher’s rights to publish the book and how it is to be distributed into the book market.
- The financial aspects need to be discussed, including the amount of royalties the author will receive from the sale of books and a breakdown of the cost of everything involved in the production of the book. The breakdown should include: how much it is for printing, the cost of editing/proofreading, the fee for marketing the book and go into detail about what kind of marketing plan there is for the book.
All of these aspects may seem like they are things that your publisher handles, but as the author you have every right to know the process your book is going to undertake, the legal aspects and more crucially what your rights are. In any sort of relationship trust is key, so when you are looking for a publishing company who can help you with your book production, find out who they are and make sure that this publisher is the right one for you. Why not do a little research before you contact them, check out their website, check out their reviews on Amazon and take a look at what other sort of publications they have dealt with in the past.
Recently more stories have emerged regarding publishers who say they can help you publish your book: you are given a contract to sign and then you pay the amount specified for the production of the book, once this is complete you are unable to contact them or find out where they have moved to, or determine how many copies or your book they have sold, and you have no idea what to do or what your rights are. So, please take your time, research all the possibilities and make sure you know your rights, because even though it may take a little while you will eventually find your perfect publisher.