A publishing agreement review is carried out by a lawyer to ensure the terms are appropriate and enforceable. Publishing agreement reviews are important for both authors and publishers.
A publishing agreement review involves understanding:
- what rights are being kept by the author or transferred or licensed to the publisher
- how royalties are calculated, paid and audited
- what both parties need to do during the publication process
- how the agreement can be brought to an end
Why is a publishing agreement review important?
Consequences of signing without review
If you sign a publishing contract without having it reviewed first, you could be agreeing to terms that you don’t fully understand or which may have unintended consequences.
For example, some publishing contracts do not include the right for the author to terminate the contract. This may mean that the author has given copyright away for a significant period of time, with no right to take back full ownership if something goes wrong.
From the perspective of the publisher, the contract should appropriately protect your investment.
Given the investment of time and money from publishers and authors, it’s important for the arrangement not to fall over at the last hurdle. For the sake of a few hundred dollars, it’s important to get a publishing agreement review.
A review can help you understand your rights and obligations
Publishing law is a niche area of law. There are a number of legal terms, international and intellectual property considerations that get taken into account. By hiring a publishing lawyer to review a publishing contract, you can cut through the jargon and get a good understanding of what you are signing up to.
A review of a publishing contract can also bring to light any terms which are inconsistent with what has been discussed between the publisher and author.
For example, royalties are often calculated on the basis of ‘net’ receipts. However, many publishing agreements define net receipts differently. This can greatly impact the final royalty payment.
Further, in hybrid publishing agreements, both the author and the publisher financially contribute to the publication. Often, the author will pay an amount up front to start the publication process.
In this scenario, it’s important for the author to have a right to a refund if the publisher does not uphold their side of the bargain.
A publishing agreement review can help you decide between different options
If an author or a publisher asks for unreasonable terms through the publishing agreement, this can be a red flag. A publishing agreement review will highlight if any terms are particularly unreasonable.
This is helpful if you have multiple options to decide between. If an author has multiple publishing offers on the table, a contract review can help the decision-making process. For publishers, if an author is requesting unreasonable terms then the publisher may want to go with alternative options.
How can Prosper Law help?
Prosper Law is Australia’s online law firm. We provide legal advice to businesses and individuals across Australia. Our areas of legal practice include contracts, eCommerce, publishing, legal counsel and employment law.
If you need a publishing agreement review and want to speak with a publishing lawyer, get in touch today.
Contact the team at Prosper Law today to discuss how we can provide you with contract advice for a fixed fee or at affordable hourly rates.
Farrah Motley | Director
M: 1300 003 077
A: Suite No. 99, Level 54, 111 Eagle Street, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4000