By Guest Blogger, Renee L. Duff, Esq.
Most authors are great at writing their books, but understanding the contractual agreements they sign related to their work is often another story altogether.
Is it important for authors to realize that not carefully reading, or even better yet having an attorney knowledgeable in publishing contracts review, their publishing agreement before they sign it could be quite detrimental to their intellectual property rights and severely limit what they receive in compensation for sales of their book?
Authors must keep in mind that the publishing contract they sign dictates their relationship with the publisher and what rights the publisher will retain. Accordingly, it is very important that an author fully understand the terms of what they are signing.
These days digital rights are a very hot commodity, and publishers are keen to get a hold of them.
One thing authors need to think about before signing any contract is what rights they might have the ability to exploit on their own and if they would be better off trying to negotiate to retain them. This will vary by an individual author’s ability to actually create the digital editions in the proper formats themselves and then market them, but if they do have the ability to sell a digital edition on their own, they will undoubtedly receive more of a financial advantage by doing so.
While getting a publishing contract is certainly a very exciting thing for an author, it is important not to let that excitement prevent you from negotiating the best deal you can and fully understanding the agreement you are about to sign.
Taking the time to do this could mean all the difference as to whether your story ends happily or not!