A single author contract can be critical to the business of a publisher – not to mention the livelihood of an author. Publishers should take great care to ensure that every contract they enter into properly protects their interests; and authors likewise.
We regulary draft author agreements and other publishing-related legal documents, generally acting on behalf of small publishers, and you can get a quote for an agreement by completing and submitting this form.
Alternatively, we supply a selection of different author agreements, available at:
There are at least 15 key questions that most author contracts should unambiguously answer:
- What does the author have to supply to the publisher?
- When must the work be supplied to the publisher?
- Which party will own which rights in the work?
- What licences will each party be granted to exploit the other’s rights?
- To what extent can those rights be passed on to others (sub-licensed)?
- Who is responsible for obtaining ancillary works, notably artwork?
- Which party is responsible for clearing rights in third party works?
- To what extent is the publisher obligated to publish the work?
- If the work must be published, then when?
- How will the author be remunerated in respect of the supply and exploitation of the work by the publisher?
- What procedures will be followed in relation to payments and, where necessary, their verification?
- What will happen if the publisher fails to exploit the work – or fails to exploit it adequately?
- Will the publisher have any obligations to publish future works, and will the author have any obligations to give the publisher a right of first refusal in relation to future works?
- In what circumstances may the parties terminate the agreement?
- Post-termination, what continuing rights do the parties have in relation to the work?