Mark Levine : The Author's Bill of Rights
The Author's Bill of Rights
By Mark Levine
All authors have the right to expect certain things from a self-publishing company. Only choose a publisher that:
Article I: Allows you to see a copy of their publishing contract on demand. (If a copy is not posted on the publisher's web site.)
Article II: Takes no rights to your book whatsoever, including the right to negotiate rights on your behalf with any third party. (e.g. movie rights, bookclub rights, etc.)
Article III: Explains exactly how the royalty percentage is calculated and doesn't back out vague expense such as "administrative" and "processing" fees.
Article IV: Does not double-dip when it comes to royalties. Double-dipping is when the publisher pads the actual cost of printing the book (which is subtracted out of the gross sale price before calculating royalties) and still take a portion of the royalty.
Article V: Does not give itself a trade discount for sales it makes through its own online store.
Article VI: Allows you to terminate your contract at any time and without penalty by giving no more than 60 days written notice.
Article VII: Upon termination of the contract, immediately ceases selling your work, except for any remaining copies of your book still in the publisher's possession.
Article VIII: Upon all termination of the contract, gives you all digital files that contain your formatted book and the cover art in a format that will allow you to print copies of the book without incurring additional formatting fees. •
© Mark Levine 2006
Mark Levine is the author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, which analyzes and ranks the contracts and services of 48 major self-publishing companies. More »