23 July 2012 - CONTRACTS

Quote of the day:

'What you will do matters.
All you need is to do it."

Judy Grahn

Writing tip of the day:

Every author waits for the day they are offered a contract by a big publishing house. However excited you are, take a deep breath and read it in detail. Signing what I call a 'Dud contract', could turn your life and possible budding career upside down.  Be careful.

There are many issues to consider:

eBooks, film rights, length of contract, world rights, territorial copyright, moral rights, advances, royalties, paperback and hardback copies, inspection of accounts, subsidiary rights, digital rights, cheap editions, remainders, proofs, revision, format, publisher's liability, termination and reversion of rights, assignment, mediation, copyright infringement, artwork  et al.

Frightened by the above terms? Don't be. Doing your homework will pay off. Trust me!

Here are a few pointers that might help.

1. Check the contract in detail - read it many times, and note the points that confuse you.

2. Seek legal advice. In Australia, authors can consult a literary lawyer via the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). They also produce a very good book, 'Australian Book Contracts' :  http://www.asauthors.org/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=ASP0016/ccms.r

3. The Arts Law Centre of Australia also offers a service. Please note: Arts Law is an independent, non-profit organisation with limited resources. If you are seeking legal advice it is preferable that you use their online legal query form. Requests for legal advice are answered in the order that they are first received, priority is not given to telephone messages. http://www.artslaw.com.au/contact/

4. Check the Internet and learn about the terms that confuse you in the contract. Do your research dilligently. It's your work and your career. Don't throw it away. Once signed, the contract is binding. As mentioned in previous posts, many authors have been caught short - very short. So, don't be lazy.

5. Predators and Editors: Once you receive a contract, check them against the following website to ensure that they are legitimate and good folks to do business with.


This site also enables you to check book stores, agents, awards, lawyers, screenwriters, magazines etc.

6. Check which authors the publisher has published and do your research. Track down the authors and contact them. You need to know how they found the publishers to deal with. It could be time well spent.

 7. If in doubt, say NO!

Keep writing!

Don't be shy ... leave a comment or send me an email: clancy_tucker@hotmail.com

Thanks for listening.

I'm Clancy Tucker.


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