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Ninc Newsletter

November 2013   •  Vol. 24, No. 11   •  Download pdf version

Ninc Conference

What to Know Before You Sign
Your Next Contract:

Speaker: F. Robert Stein, attorney, Pryor Cashman LLP


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.

Table of Contents

President’s Voice
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 Tomorrow
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 future versions.

  • You get no editing, proofreading, or cover. You have to provide all those things yourself.

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