Thursday, 10 November 2016


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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