Q. If I republish a public domain work, can I copyright the new version? A. No, not unless you add new original material. Let me explain. Public domain works are anything NOT protected by copyright. Such works may be used freely by anyone without permission from the author. The numerous changes Congress has made to … Continue reading Republishing A Book in the Public Domain
Although non-compete clauses have become common in non-fiction publishing, they are not appropriate in novel publishing agreements. Unfortunately, I have too often seen sweeping non-compete terms in fiction agreements, especially with small and independent presses that “cut and paste” contract provisions from online samples. In some circumstances, these non-compete provisions can unreasonably restrict your future … Continue reading Non-compete Clauses
Some small and independent publishers will refuse to negotiate an unagented publishing agreement, and first-time novelists often back down immediately, fearing the publishing offer will be withdrawn. Other publishers may respond to a modification request by stating: “That’s a standard clause.” The implication, of course, is that you’re too green to understand industry standards, and … Continue reading Negotiating Without An Agent
A standard publishing agreement stipulates that the publisher has somewhere between 12 and 24 months to release the book after the publisher has accepted the manuscript, with 18 months being typical. Aside from the obvious fact that authors wish to see their book in print as soon as possible, there are other reasons to have … Continue reading Time Until Publication
Many publishing agreements include bankruptcy clauses to protect the author, for example: In the event of the bankruptcy, insolvency or liquidation of the Publisher, this Agreement shall terminate and all rights granted to the Publisher shall revert to the Author automatically and without the necessity of any demand or notification. Sounds good. But is it … Continue reading Bankruptcy Clauses In Publishing Agreements
A. By “tricky” you mean contract terms that may have unforeseen consequences for the author. That is a big topic, but here are some prominent examples: The Cross-collateralization Clause: “All Works covered by this Agreement or any other agreement between Publisher and Author shall be considered one account and shall be accounted for jointly or … Continue reading Q: What Are Some “Tricky” Contract Clauses In Publishing Agreements?