What to Know Before You Sign
Your Next Contract:
Speaker: F. Robert Stein, attorney, Pryor Cashman LLP
BY ASHLEY MCCONNELL
Bob Stein comes from a traditional-publishing background and so limited the comments that he made on
indie distributor contracts to his online review of the Amazon, Kobo, and Nook contracts. That being said,
he opened the session with a brief description of the advantages and disadvantages that indie contracts have
over traditional book contracts.
The advantages to the author in indie contracts include:
You can terminate rights at any time (except fulfillment of sales that have already been made).
Your grant of rights to an indie publisher/distributor consist solely of publishing the book in digital form. You retain all other rights, such as audio, performance, and print.
There is no option clause for your next book.
The grant of rights is not exclusive—you can publish simultaneously with more than one distributor
(unless, for example, you agree to a further limitation such as Amazon Select).
There is no non-compete clause.
You set the list price.
You are paid monthly.
The royalty rates are enormously better than in traditional publishing.
In Memoriam: Joyce Ware
NINC 2013 Conference ReCap:
It’s Not Over Yet!
Organizing Yourself and Your Support Team
Putting the Author First
Wired for Story
CONFERENCE 2014: Yesterday, Today and
Writing Is Taxing: Year-End Tax Strategies
The Mad Scribbler: Sea Change
The disadvantages of indie publishing/distribution,
compared to traditional publishing, include:
The terms of the contract can be changed unilaterally
at any time without notice to the author. If,
however, they change the terms and you don’t like
them, you can terminate at any time. Also, changes
in royalty and payments usually take effect 30-60
days later, so you may want to copy the initial contract
into Word in order to use its “compare documents”
feature to check on what has changed in possible
- You get no editing, proofreading, or cover. You
have to provide all those things yourself.
Continued on page 5
Page 2 ->