Skip to main content

How to Understand ePublishing Contracts

I'm not going to use fear language in this post because I don't think informed writers should be afraid. An ePublishing contract should address:

  • The platform (print, or ebook or DVD)
  • The term (how long)
  • The compensation (how much)
  • The scope (territory/area)

When viewing an ePublishing contract (a contract between you (the author) and a publisher who will put your work online in ebook format), you need to consider a few rights. When signing away rights, you are agreeing to give the ePublisher certain access and ownership to your material.

  • In a contract,  you "represent and warrant" (own) all rights to your original material. But you don't own all rights to third party material (quotes, images from third parties). These rights have to be examined before signing certain rights away to the ePublisher.
  • An "out of print reversion of rights to the author" clause must be revised for an electronic book, which will never go out of print. Make sure there is a clear and logical point at which the rights will revert back to the author. For example: 
  1. Rights could revert back to the author if royalties fall below a certain amount.
  2. Rights could revert back to the author if the publisher has not re-issued the book for a set amount of time (6 mons).
  • Print rights are a no brainer if the Publisher only does electronic books. As an author, you need to keep those rights.
  • Electronic rights, which go to the Publisher, should clarify whether the author can still post excerpts, the title or the cover image on their author web site. 
  • Electronic rights should also be clarified. Did you know the term can include games, CD-ROM and DVD products and databases.
  • Print magazines may request first or second serialization rights, which means they want to publish a segment from your book before (first) it comes out or after (second). Make sure it is clear in the contract, who will be giving these rights and if you like to do your own marketing online, consider those first serialization rights for yourself. 
Important to remember. Your rights are protected under copyright law, unless you grant them to a publisher. The publisher is trying to get as many rights for as little compensation as possible. Your goal is the opposite.

*This is not legal advice - all contracts should be reviewed by a lawyer before you sign.

For examples of online contracts and other articles, see:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Use MS OneNote to Organize Writing Research and Novel Outlines for Writers

Let’s Get Organized  Writers take a gazillion notes.   I don’t have to tell you this, because you know all about it. You also know how difficult it is to organize notes, search through paper notes, and sometimes even find all the notes you've written.  In this day and age, going digital is the best way to keep track of your notes. If organized properly, digital notes are sortable, searchable, editable, accessible from anywhere, and light as a feather to carry around. In this blog, I'm going to show you how to be note-efficient. ____________________________________________________ The following is an excerpt from "Technology #WritingTips for Writers". First 100 subscribers at http://www.cherylcowtan.com get a free copy at book launch. _____________________________________________________ The first step in getting note-efficient is finding the right software. For writers, finding a software that will meet all of our needs is like trying to pick

Netgalley Comparison Review - Is it Worth an Author's Money and Time?

NetGalley has over 175,000 reviewers, media, booksellers, bloggers and librarians!  NetGalley is a conduit for authors to get their books noticed, read and reviewed. Many years ago, I was a reader for NetGalley. I thought it was a great deal - getting free ARCs in exchange for honest reviews. However, what I found was that I would load up too many ARCs and then eventually lose interest in writing reviews. I'm sure there are many readers on NetGalley who have experienced the same initial enthusiasm followed by a decline in activity. That's why if you're going to invest in NetGalley, you will want to have control in choosing your own reviewers. Reviewers are rated on their activity, so you can sort through those who don't follow through using the NetGalley dashboard. NetGalley offers an incredible dashboard that allows you to control who gets your books, which also ensures the readers getting your novel are interested in your genre. Readers who aren't might

How teaching is more than just handing out home lessons - Corona Virus Education

HOW TEACHING HAPPENS IN MY CLASS I’ve been teaching for twelve years at an alternative school, working with students who are at risk. Ever heard that old saying, “Those who can’t, teach”? Well before teaching, I was a Social Worker, a Newspaper Journalist, an Internet Business Consultant, Web Designer, eMarketer and Published Author. Now, I teach. I love teaching. I love bringing all my skills from life to the classroom. And I love being challenged by the changes in society and technology that encourage me to step it up in the classroom, each year. But I also love all the new skills teaching has given me.  If you are in a situation where you are delivering lessons because of COVID-19, here are a few insights on how I deliver learning that might make your journey easier. Let's start with some universal tips. Tip #1: Always remember what you are teaching. Do you want them to learn how to reflect on their cooking? Then you aren't marking spelling in their written ref