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TRADE BOOK PUBLISHING AGREEMENT CHECKLIST


I. General Provisions
  1. Name/address of parties
  2. Description of work (synopsis)
-Tentative title, no. of words, illos, intended audience, fiction, non-fiction, etc.

II. Grant of Rights and Territory
  1. "All rights" or license?
  2. Term or time period (i.e., usually the life of the copyright)
  3. Geographic scope
a)   The world?
b)   Limited (e.g., U.S., its possessions and Canada)
  4. Exclusive rights granted
a)

Primary rights
-Hardcover
-Trade paperback
-Mass market
-Direct mail
-Language(s)

b) b) Secondary (subsidiary rights)
-Periodical rights
1)  First serial (i.e., pre-publication excerpts)
2)  Second serial
-Book club
-Dramatic rights
-Film/TV rights
-Videocassette/audiocassette
-Radio rights
-Merchandising (commercial tie-in) rights
-New Technology
-Foreign translations rights
-British Commonwealth rights
III. Manuscript Delivery
  1. Delivery requirements
a) When due? Date realistic? Time is of the essence?
b) What form (paper, spacing, margins.)?
c) What to deliver?
-No. of manuscript copies, disks (what WP format?)
-Index (who pays?)
-No. of tables, illustrations, charts, photos (who pays?)
d) Copyright permissions and releases
-Scope of rights
-Who pays?
  2. Manuscript Acceptance
a) Criteria: Satisfactory in "form and content" or "sole discretion of publisher?
b) Termination for unsatisfactory manuscript
c) Notice of acceptance/dissatisfaction
d) Good faith duty to edit
e) Return of advance
-First proceeds clause
-False first proceeds clause
IV. Copyright Ownership
  1. "All rights" vs. exclusive license
  2. In whose name will work be registered?
  3. When will work be registered? (Should be done within statutory period)
  4. Joint authors and collaboration agreements
  5. Work for hire
a) Freelancers
b) Contributors
c) Employees
  6. Use of name/likeness
  7. Reserved rights

V. Authors Representations and Warranties (Not negotiable!)
  1. Author sole creator
  2. Not previously published; not in public domain
  3. Does not infringe any copyrights
  4. Does not invade right of privacy or publicity
  5. Not libelous or obscene
  6 No errors or omissions in any recipe, formula or instructions
  7. Limited only to material delivered by Author

VI. Indemnity/Insurance
  1. Author indemnifies publisher
  2. Indemnities applicable to "claims, " "allegations," and/or "breaches"?
  3. Withholding of legal expenses. Held in interest bearing account?
  4. Include Author as additional insured on publisher's insurance?
  5. Does publisher have ability to settle claims without prior approval of Author? If so, are there a dollar amount limitation?

VII. Publication
  1. Duty to Publish within ? months
a)  Force majeure
   -- Any cap on delays?
  2. Advertising and promotion
  3. Bound galleys/review copies
  4. Style or manner of publication
a) Title consultation or approval?
b) Book jacket
-- Right of author consultation? Approval?
c) Changes in manuscript
  5. Editor/Imprint

VIII. Money Issues
  1. Advance against future royalties
  2. When payable? (in halves, thirds, etc.)
  3. Royalties and subsidiary rights:
a) a) Primary rights
-Hardcover royalties
-Trade paperback royalties
-Mass market royalties
-Royalty escalation(s)
-Bestseller bonus
-Royalty reductions
1)  deep discount and special sales
2)  mail order sales
3)  premium sales
4)  small printing
5)  slow moving inventory
b) b) Secondary (subsidiary) rights royalty splits
-Book club
-Serialization (first serial, second serial)
-Anthologies, selection rights
-Large print editions
-Hardcover
-Trade paperback
-Mass market
-Foreign translation
-British Commonwealth
-Electronic // new technology rights
. Is the right to intermingle with third party content included?
-Audio rights
-Motion picture/TV
-Merchandising
  4. Reasonable reserve for returns
a) What percentage withheld?
b) When liquidated?
  5. Definition of royalty base (retail price, wholesale, net price?)
a) At average discount of 50%, 20% of net is same as 10% of list
b) At average discount of 40%, 16-2/3% of net is same as 10% of list
c) At average discount of 20%, 12-1/2% of net is the same as 10% of list
  6. Recoupment of advances

IX Accounting Statements
  1. Annual, semiannual, or quarterly statements?
  2. Payment dates
  3. Cross-collateralization
  4. Audit rights
  5. Limit on time to object to statements
  6. Limit on time to bring legal action
  7. No examination on contingency basis
  8. Pass through clause for subsidiary rights income

X. Revised Editions
  1. Frequency
  2. By whom?
  3. Royalty reductions if done by third party
  4. Sale of revised edition treated as sale of new book
  5. Reviser/Author credit

XI. Option
  1. Definition of next work(s)
  2. When does option period start?
  3. Definiteness of terms
  4. What type of option? (e.g., first look, matching, topping )

XII Competing Work
  1. How is competing work defined?
  2. How long does non-compete run?

XIII. Out-of-Print
  1. How defined?
  2. Notice requirements
  3. Author's right to purchase plates, film, inventory

XIV. Termination
  1. What triggers reversion of rights?
  2. Survival of Author's representations and warranties
  3. Licenses granted prior to termination survive

XV. Miscellaneous
  1. Choice of governing law
  2. Arbitration clause
  3. Bankruptcy
  4. Modification
  5. Literary agency clause (assignment of X% to author's agent)

Resources


Copyright and Trademark Information

Copyright Office
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20559
(202) 707-9100 (forms & publications hotline)
http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright

Patent and Trademark Office
2900 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
(800) PTO-9199
www. upto.gov

Legal Aid

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
1 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 319-2787

Publisher Groups

American Association of Publishers (AAP)
71 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003-3004
(212) 255-0200
www.publishers.org

Publishers Marketing Association (PMA)
627 Aviation Way
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 372-2732
www.pma-online.org

Small Press Center (SPC)
20 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 764-7021
www.smallpress.org


Writers Groups

American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
1501 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 997-0947
www.asja.org

The Authors Guild
330 West 42nd Street, 29th floor
New York, NY 10036
(212) 563-5904
www.authors-guild.org

National Writers Union (NWU)
113 University Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 254-0279
www.nwu.org/nwu


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