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The Fine Print of Self-Publishing
Mark Levine : The Author's Bill of Rights

The Author's Bill of Rights

By Mark Levine

The Author's Bill of RightsAll 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 LevineMark 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 »