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Book Marketing Tips

 

Contract Terms to Avoid or Negotiate with Publishers

The last few sections described the various contract clauses you might encounter and what to do about them. Here is a summary of the major clauses to ask the publisher to delete or change (or ask your agent to make the request on your behalf, if your agent doesn’t already plan to suggest these changes). […Read More…]

 

Publicity, Book Excerpts, Co-Author & Co-Publishing Deals, & Pay-to-Play

Some additional clauses in contracts deal with publicity, book excerpts, pay to play, and co-author or co-publisher deals.  Here’s what to expect and how to deal with them   Publicity Often specific details about publicity aren’t included in the contract, but the general idea is that the author agrees to help support the book through […Read More…]

 

Future Books, Revisions & Updates, & Getting Rights Back

If the book does well, your publisher may want revisions or updates to keep the book current.  Also, the publisher may hope for future books from you.  On the other hand, if the work doesn’t do well or the publisher has financial difficulties and declares bankruptcy, you may get your rights back under certain circumstances. […Read More…]

 

Getting Paid and Author’s Copies

Other contract clauses deal with how you get paid, the number of author’s copies you will receive, and how you can purchase copies.  There are a few changes you might request here in the number of copies you receive and purchase arrangements, but generally, the payment arrangements are based on the publisher’s accounting system, so […Read More…]

 

Dealing with Royalties and Payment Arrangements

Probably the one section of the contract that involves the most negotiation is the royalty rate, size of the advance, and payment arrangements.   If there will be a hardcover version of your book, a common arrangement is 10 to 15% of the retail or the net price (which is about 50-60% of the retail […Read More…]

 

Dealing with Editorial and Production Arrangements

Another key contract provision deals with editorial and production arrangements.  This section refers to the requirement that you will review any gallery proofs within the time limit specified (generally 5 to 10 days after you receive them), and if you make any changes other than printer’s errors or in some agreements more changes than 10%, […Read More…]

Dealing with Warranties, Indemnity, and the Grant of Rights

Other common contract clauses deal with warranties, indemnity, and the grant of rights, many of which are basic boilerplate. It is best to just leave most of them as is, rather than trying to nitpick small points, which could lead a publisher to think of you as a difficult writer, which would kill the deal. […Read More…]

What to Expect and Watch Out For in a Contract

If you have an agent, he or she will normally handle the contract arrangements in consultation with you and make recommendations on how to present your material and the best publishers to contact. Agents are typically familiar with the usual contract provisions and what they can ask for and negotiate to get you the best […Read More…]

 

Making Special Arrangements for Clients

While you may have certain prices and policies that are the usual way you work with clients, at times clients will ask you to make certain changes or exceptions, and it can be hard to decide whether or not to agree to these changes. Following are some common scenarios and how to deal with them. […Read More…]

 

Adjusting Your Fee and Payment Arrangements as a Freelancer

One of the great things about being a freelancer, is that you can freely choose what projects you work on, what clients you agree to work for, and what your terms and prices will be. You can also freely adjust your writing and payment arrangements to changes in the marketplace and your own ebbs and […Read More…]

Creating a Platform as an Author, Scriptwriter, or Speaker

Today, if you are seeking to pitch a book, script, or yourself to get published by a mainstream publisher, sell film rights for a book or a script, find an agent or manager, or get paid speaking engagements, it’s all about platform. That means you need a solid track record in your field, expert credentials […Read More…]

Do You Really Need a Copyright?

One issue that frequently comes up in workshops or online forums is whether you need a copyright for your film or book. Occasionally people ask if they can use what is sometimes called the “poor man’s copyright,” where you send yourself your material in a sealed envelope, so you can later prove that you wrote […Read More…]

What to Do About Advance Purchase Commitments & Payment from Established Companies?

A recent trend among some major publishers is creating special imprints where writers pay to get published or asking for a pre-purchase commitment of a minimum number of books. These offers are coming from established companies with a tradition of paying writers an advance as well a royalty, even if it’s a low advance, or […Read More…]

Should You Work as a Co-Writer and Take a Percentage?

Sometimes professional writers are offered the opportunity to work as a co-writer. Should you do it, and if so, what the best way to protect yourself should problems develop? Co-writing can be an ideal arrangement, when you have long been friends or business associates and you both share a passion for the project. Then, you […Read More…]

Should You Begin Writing Anything Before a Payment or Contract?

A big issue for many writers is what to do after you get a publishing or job offer. What if the publisher or employer has a tight deadline, and to make the deadline you have to start writing before you get a payment or a signed contract? Should you get started and risk not getting […Read More…]

Searching for Publishers

When you are searching for a publisher for your book, don’t only target publishers who are interested in your type of book but the editors who handle that subject. The way to do this is by using keywords, such as “historical,” “relationships,” & “self-help”. Although this is not a perfect science, since these searches will  […Read More…]

Protecting Yourself from Piracy

Since the development of the e-book and its growing popularity, the problem of piracy has become pervasive. The reason is that it is easy to copy and pass on ebooks, and a growing number of piracy sites have made these available. And many other sites which sell ebooks for authors and publishers have pirated books  […Read More…]

Working Out a Co-Writer or Ghostwriting Arrangement

Co-writing and ghost writing arrangements for both books and scripts can be great when you and your co-writer or lead writer have a shared vision for the project and you bring to it complementary skills. Besides writing my own books and scripts, I have worked with several dozen clients on co-written projects. A first step […Read More…]

Do You Really Need a Copyright?

One issue that frequently comes up in workshops or online forums is whether you need a copyright for your film or book. Occasionally people ask if they can use what is sometimes called the “poor man’s copyright,” where you send yourself your material in a sealed envelope, so you can later prove that you wrote […Read More…]

Searching for Publishers

When you are searching for a publisher for your book, it is important to not only target publishers who are interested in your type of book but the specific editors who handle that subject. The way to do this is by using keywords, such as “historical,” “relationships,” “ self-help,” and so forth, although this is […Read More…]