Tuesday, March 23, 2010

(Re) Negotiating Your Book Contract

In yesterday's post about the Digital Book World Conference, I reported that Evan Schnittman talked about the large number of trade authors with existing titles covered by contracts that never addressed e-rights because electronic books did not exist (or weren't considered valuable) when those titles were originally published.

Last Wednesday, The Authors Guild had this to say:
Random House and HarperCollins are sending letters to authors and agents seeking amendments to contracts regarding e-book rights. These letters, although some suggest that the author's work was "selected" for digitization, appear to be going to virtually all authors who have no stated e-book royalty rate in their contracts. In some cases, the letters have gone to authors who have never granted e-book rights to the publisher.

These amendments should be treated with extreme care.
The Authors Guild goes on to say that both publishing houses are trying to lock in a 25% rate while e-book rates are still low.

The Guild offers five suggestions for authors who did not give away their e-book rights when they signed their original contract. Go here to read the suggestions.

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