Publishing Agreements - Authors Take Note!

You are an author! You have expressed your passion, your soul on paper. You wish to share your thoughts, ideas and the essence of your imagination with the rest of the world. You wish to delight and inspire others with the gifts of your intellectual prowess and soulful stirrings. You alone know the untold hours spent in expressing yourself and your efforts deserve to be given the best platform possible.

As an author, it is crucial to ensure that the spirit in which your work has been created is respected, protected and preserved. The purpose of your creative expression should be fulfilled.

In order to publish your work, you may decide to self-publish or you may seek the services of a good agent. Whether you are with an agent or alone in your journey, it is essential that you obtain sound legal advice on the publishing contracts which you become a party to. As lawyers, engaged in preparation of such contracts, we ensure that your interests, rights and entitlements are protected in the all important publishing agreement.

If you are contemplating the terms of a contract which have been presented by your publisher, some of the following issues should be foremost on your mind:

Copyright: Retain your copyright and moral rights over the work. Ensure that your publisher registers your copyright by the time your book is
published or at least within 3 months of publication.

Licence: The contract should identify what exactly is being licensed to the publisher. This includes different formats, territories, languages and volume of publication. All other rights should be expressly reserved to you.

Creative Control: You should retain creative control over your work and that means not allowing the publisher to alter your script without your express

Royalties: Be clear on royalty rates. Identify the kind of sale and what royalties apply. It is very easy to get cheated by virtue of the publisher’s offering of various ‘high discount’ or similar deals. Publishers also have a tendency to take back any advance paid out if royalties if they do not meet a set threshold. An astute way around this is to ensure the contract allows you to study the royalty records or the record of sales of your work.

Liability: Do not under any circumstances accept unlimited liability for libel or other such claims.

Duration: Ensure that you retain control over the publication of your work and if royalties fall below a certain threshold, the rights lapse
back to you.

Publication and Delivery: Identify the dates of publication, delivery, approximate sale price and obtain an undertaking from the publisher
to ensure this is followed.

We would be happy to assist you in negotiating for the most fruitful terms in the publication of your work. Aside from advising you on the essentials and nuances of your publishing agreement, we can negotiate on your behalf and ensure that your work is protected. 

We would like to see that your book deal is prosperous and encourages you in the progression of your career as a magician with the written or spoken word. 

Do get in touch!

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