Contract Negotiation 101: Negotiating the Initial Offer

As we discussed last week, publishing contract negotiations normally begin with an offer — most commonly in email format, but sometimes sent in letter form. The initial offer usually contains the “big ticket” contract items, such as the advance amount and anticipated publishing format (for example, hardback, trade paperback, or ebook only). The offer may also contain other information, like estimated release dates (usually by year and quarter) and imprint (where an editor works for more than one). Publishers (and even editors) differ when it comes to offer format; some give more information, and others less. Generally, though, that initial offer

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