Before you sign an agreement with a publisher to publish your literary work, you need to consider several issues (this is not exclusive, this is to help you realize that there a lot of issues to consider):
1) How long does the agreement last?
2) Who owns the materials? The Copyright? The use of your name?
3) How much will you receive for royalties? For the rights to publish?
4) Who gets the compensation for secondary use of your work(s)? Think screenwriting & movie rights? What’s the split?
5) Do you have any say if they assign your publication rights?
6) Who gets credits?
7) What termination rights do you have for non-performance? And vice versa?
8) How many of you publications do they get? Future? Past?
9) What happens if they choose not to publish? When, if ever, do rights return to the writer?
10) What venue (State & County) are legal disputes filed in?
We strongly advise you get legal counsel. Trust me, they’ve got legal counsel. You really want your work tied up in someone else’s hands for perpetuity?
Consider how much time you’ve invested writing your work, whether a novel, a screenplay, or poetry. Is it worth chancing that time and those revisions. We’d rather help you on the front end during negotiations than litigate the dispute on the back end.
We handle contracts/agreements & litigation over copyrights, trademarks, and intellectual property. Call North Carolina literary attorney, Casey Otis, at 336-723-7200 to discuss your literary or artistic legal matters.