View Full Version : Help! What is the standard time a publisher should have in regards to your work?

02-04-2009, 04:10 AM
When you receive an offer from a publisher, what is the time they expect you to sign for? What is the industry standard? I am negotiating with a publisher and need to know what is standard in the industry.

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to this.

02-04-2009, 05:35 AM
Could you tell us some of the details?

When negotiating anything, both parties are usually trying to reach a settlement that's satisfactory. If I'm right, you received a contract (I assume that's what you mean by "offer") from a publisher and you're not satisfied with some of its terms....you've been negotiating hoping to reach acceptable terms -- right? Given yur question, I also assume you don't have an agent.

You ask, "... what is the time they expect you to sign for?" and "What is the industry standard." There's no absolute standard, although publishers certainly expect that you'll sign (or not) after you and your intellectual rights attorney have a week or two to review same. If you want changes, they expect you tell them a/s/a/p. If it were me, once I received the contract I would immediately acknowledge its receipt. I'd thank the editor and tell her that I need a few days to read it over and review the details ("I'll get back to you in a few days--a/s/a/p"). After reading the contract and making notes I'd contact and meet with an IR attorney a/s/a/p (if you're published consider the legal department at the Author Guild). Don't rush, rush, rush --- but don't lag, lag, lag.

02-04-2009, 04:31 PM
Scope makes good sense. For what it's worth, my negotiations took a few weeks, but I had an agent. Not sure if that changes things or not. The deal points were agreed upon, but it took four months for the actual contract to come in. I'm told this is pretty common. I think as long as you're communicating with the publisher and you're both in agreement on the time frame, you're probably fine as long as it takes.

02-04-2009, 11:53 PM

Everything you said makes perfect sense to me. Some contracts I've signed and returned in a week or two, others, where greater negotiation was required, took a couple of months. Always, my agent was involved, except for the very first when I used an IR attorney. As you said, the key is to keep the lines of communication open. contracts In my experience I've received contracts that after review by my agent and me

02-06-2009, 08:34 PM
Thanks everyone . . . I appreciate your taking the time to respond.

The company in question, wants the contract to be for the life of the copyright... That is my concern.

From what I understand, a copyright is for the life of the author. Just wondering what I should counter with?


02-07-2009, 12:55 AM
1) Can someone tell me phrase . . ." for the term of the copyright" is acceptable. Is this a normal clause?

2) Also, do publishers specify that shipping comes out of the net due the author?


02-07-2009, 02:55 AM
You might want to move this to the "AW roundtable" forum...it might get more attention there....*flags down a mod*

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Andrew Zack
02-07-2009, 03:43 AM
Dear Tucson:

Nearly every contract I've ever negotiated has been for "term of copyright," but they always include OP provisions. Seems to me that you are a bit out of your element and that you should get an agent or publishing attorney to advise you.


02-07-2009, 09:19 AM
Red Ink and Andrew... thanks for the responses. It was an offer from Stategic Books and I just saw the thread on that.