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Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Contract, Part 2

This past week, I finally heard back from both attorneys on the contract. For those who haven't read the first post on the contract, let me summarize. The contract is a legal agreement between the publisher and me for the publication of the novel. The contract outlines many guidelines, procedures, and penalties if guidelines are not met. Examples include when I need to get the manuscript file to the publisher, how long I have to make revisions the publisher wants, who decides the cover (it's not me), what happens if I plagiarized, what my advance will be, what happens if someone sues me for copyright infringement, what my royalty will be, how many free copies I get, what happens when the book goes "out of print," etc. Several established authors advised me to get legal counsel since the contract is legally binding. I have read through the contract at least three times, and some of it is clear as mud.

Anyhow, I heard back from both attorneys. One had only four concerns and recommendations. The other had tons of concerns and recommendations. Now I have to decide which concerns have merit and determine which requests I can/should make. Yikes! I feel out of my realm.

I do have a few questions/preferences: I want to be consulted about any final edits the publisher may make. (After all, my name goes on the cover.) I want to know what expenses are required of me for the final proofs. I want to know what is required of me (financially or otherwise) for the book's advertising and promotion.

I'm new at this. I have no idea how the publisher will respond to my questions/preferences. I don't know what's reasonable and what isn't. We'll see. Check back later for more on the contract. I hope to sign it this week.

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