When I was offered my first book contract I was over the moon. I had a few people look it over and did some research to make sure it looked good. I signed it and we proceeded to getting the cover, more edits and all the things involved in getting a book out in print to the public. And the rest is history as the saying goes.
Time move on and things didn’t sit right with me after a couple of years so I asked for my rights back. That prove problematic. Very problematic to be more specific.
I could write a small book on what to look for in a contract, what to question and to know if you should sign or walk away. Things I did not know at first and as a newly signed author would not have known until something went wrong.
One has to ask questions, do the research and make sure your book and yourself are being represented well. It took such a long time for you to get to this point. Don’t get so excited that someone wants to put your book in print.
As a new author back than I did the research but I didn’t know what to be looking for or asking for exactly. I did the best that I could. And for the most part it worked out.
So what to look for?
-make sure there is a termination clause listed and that is is specific.
-make sure you learn when the royalties will be dispersed
-make sure you understand the double secret code some might use when they explain your royalties and how the money is divided.
-make sure you are able to contact them in time of need besides the website they run
-ask if they have ways of having your book reviewed and how they go about doing that
-what happens if they fold?
There are more but this is what cam to mind at the time of this blog. Not all of the above applied to me but from other frustrated authors.
There will be times where it all looks good and it could be exactly what is written down on paper. There will be times where blips will occur and it seems the publisher has all the rights while you have none. But there are many people out there who are willing to work with you in looking over your contract and helping you when times go south.
Don’t be in a rush to sign over your rights to your book. It is tempting but this your baby and it deserves the same TLC that you gave it while creating it.
I am more cautious with anyone who is interested in any of my manuscripts. And that is a good thing.