Traditional publishing contracts typically contain a paragraph called “Acceptance” (or sometimes, “Delivery and Acceptance”) which details the timing and conditions that govern the publisher’s acceptance (or rejection) of a manuscript after delivery. Many authors are surprised to learn that contracts contain an “out” for the publisher after delivery–but it makes sense in the context of the publishing deal as a whole. Today, we’ll take a look at how to negotiate and understand that “acceptance” paragraph in the context of a publishing deal. We’ll also look at some ways to help ensure your manuscript doesn’t run afoul of the publisher’s acceptance provisions. Publishers generallyRead more
Negotiating a Grant of Rights
Negotiating the “Grant of Rights” in a publishing contract can be difficult (and exasperating) for authors who don’t understand exactly what this section of the contract means. The grant of rights often encompasses more than a single paragraph in a publishing contract and we’ll be taking more than a single week to discuss it in this blog series. In general terms, the “grant of rights” designates exactly which rights the author is licensing (or “granting”) to the publisher in the contract. Contract language varies widely from publisher to publisher, and even from deal to deal, but over the next few weeks, my Wednesday posts will look atRead more
Contract Negotiation 101: What’s a “Defined Term” (& Why Should I Care)?
The key to defined terms, as with every part of a publishing deal, is to read them carefully and never sign anything you don’t agree with or don’t understand.Read more
Understanding “Negotiability” – Cookies Come in Different Sizes
Many authors understand that publishing contracts are “negotiable,” but find the negotiating process confusing. In many cases, this stems from a lack of understanding about what “negotiability” really means in the publishing contract process. The fact that a contract is “negotiable” doesn’t mean every term and every provision is up for discussion or revision. In one sense, of course, every term of a contract is “negotiable” – because an author (or publisher) can always walk away instead of signing. In another sense, however, certain provisions are “deal breakers” – meaning one or both parties would rather walk away from the dealRead more