Book Publishing Contracts

Entertainment contracts play a very important role in the maintenance of relationship in the industry. 

A book publisher often contracts with authors.  Once an author finds a publisher for his or her work, they start their formal relationship by drafting  a contract.  In a writer- publisher agreement the questions to be kept in mind while drafting the contract include the following:

  • What are the rights passed to the publisher?
  • Will the author retain certain rights?
  • Is the author going to be paid for the future exploitation of his/her book?
  • Who owns the copyright?
  • What are the consequences to be faced if the author or the publisher fails to comply with agreement?
  • Who will have the final say in terms of look, style, marketing, promotion and the like of the work?
  • Who has the responsibility to obtain required licenses and clearances?
  • How will the amount of the royalty payable be computed?
  • Will the royalties be paid on the retail/cover price of the book or the net income received by the publisher for sales by the publisher?
  • Will the author retain right to negotiate better terms on revised editions?
  • What are the author’s warranties with regard to claims made by third parties against the book, such as for copyright infringement, defamation, invasion of privacy or other such claims?
  • What are rights of the parties after termination of the agreement?

The parties to this contract should have a broad vision about what may happen to the work over the course of its publishing lifetime.  The contract should deal with those possibilities.


Inside Book Publishing Contracts