Granting Rights to Your Work
One of my nonfiction books gained the attention of a small press, and a standard publishing contract arrived in my inbox. “Excited” hardly describes the feeling of realizing that somebody wants your work. You dare to dream about all of the possibilities for your book and your writing career. And then I read the Rights Granted section.
Keep in mind that each and every one of these rights listed below can be negotiated separately. This is exact verbatim from the contract with some of the legal ease edited out for easier reading.
1. Rights Granted. The author hereby grants, transfers, and assigns to the Publisher for the full term of copyright the exclusive right to publish the Work in hardback and paperback editions and to sell throughout the world in all languages. …all electronic rights to the Work, with exclusive authority to license said rights throughout the world in all languages. …subsidiary rights as specified in paragraph 9.
Paragraph 9. The Author hereby grants, transfers and assigns to the Publisher for the full term of copyright the exclusive right to license, sell, or otherwise dispose of the following rights in the Work in all languages and throughout the world: publication or sale by book clubs; reprint rights; foreign rights; translation rights…; publication in anthologies, compilations, digests, condensations; serial rights … ; dramatic, motion picture, multimedia and televisions rights; broadcast for radio; recordings; electronic rights …e-books, Kindle, Nook and other … ; audio, mechanical, and visual reproduction; computer programs; microprint, microfiche, and microfilm editions; syndication rights; permission rights (quotations, excerpts, illustrations, etc.); merchandising rights and in any media now known or hereafter created; and otherwise utilize the Work and material based on the Work.
I’m giving up all of this in return for Royalties of Ten Percent of sales. The smarter author works with a trusted literary agent or intellectual property attorney to help with negotiations
There is another option. Keep ALL of your rights, be your own boss, set your own deadlines, and publish as an Indie Author. If you like control of your career and you’re not afraid of learning new things and steering your own ship, self-publishing might be for you. It’s easier now than ever before.
If you live in or near the Amarillo, Texas Panhandle area, I’d like to invite you to an Indie Author Workshop in July. SAVE THE DATE: July 21, 2018. I’ll be moderating a panel of Indie Authors and small press owners to discuss the step-by-step process of self-publishing. Let’s get real. We’ll include the bad and the good, and answer all your questions. Rory C. Keel, one my WordsmithSix critique partners will be on the panel too. Sponsored by Texas High Plains Writers, meeting starts at 10:00 AM, Amarillo (Chase) Tower, 600 South Tyler Street, in downtown Amarillo, Texas. We’ll be on the 9th Floor in the Ed Davis Room. Bring your questions and be prepared to leave inspired!