PDA

View Full Version : NDA before contract discussions?



Alitriona
01-23-2012, 03:33 AM
Apologies if this is the wrong room for this question.

Is signing a NDA(non disclosure) agreement standard practice before contract negotiations begin with a publisher? I didn't think so but I've just been told I'm wrong and it is standard in the industry.

CheshireCat
01-23-2012, 03:46 AM
Apologies if this is the wrong room for this question.

Is signing a NDA(non disclosure) agreement standard practice before contract negotiations begin with a publisher? I didn't think so but I've just been told I'm wrong and it is standard in the industry.

I've never been asked to sign one at any stage of negotiations, and I've been published more than 25 years with six major publishers.

This wouldn't happen to be Amazon, would it?

James D. Macdonald
01-23-2012, 03:51 AM
I suppose it's possible somewhere in the non-fiction world.

The only times I've had to sign NDAs when writing fiction was when I was writing tie-in books for TV shows, and was given the series bible and the plot points for the upcoming season.

PEBKAC
01-23-2012, 03:59 AM
I had to sign an NDA before the contract to update a book for some software that was pre-release. There was a very clear reason for that of course. If you're not sure why they're asking for the NDA, can you find out why and post more details?

Alitriona
01-23-2012, 04:04 AM
This wouldn't happen to be Amazon, would it?


No, it's a small publisher I'm not sign to or submitting to and was said in a closed discussion so I wouldn't like to reveal the name. I can say it's for general fiction.


It was a red flag to me and I said so but I was almost convinced I was wrong and it is standard. I know I didn't have to sign one. I thought, "I know where to get an answer I can trust." :)

Medievalist
01-23-2012, 07:00 AM
No. Not a NDA with a publisher

And while I've signed well over a hundred NDAs in order to be able to write about new technology/new products in software and hardware, none were with my publishers

Ever.

Nor would I sign one.

I note as well that I will not sign an open-ended NDA or non-compete clause. I want a finite term.

Jamesaritchie
01-23-2012, 09:35 PM
Unless there's an excellent reason for something to remain secret, this would be a huge red flag for me. At the very least, it's a sign that the publisher is not well versed in how the business works.

Torgo
01-23-2012, 09:38 PM
It's odd, but I have once asked a prospective author to sign an NDA. We were doing a fairly innovative web-based serial and I was looking for someone to write to order from a synopsis on a particular schedule; I didn't want anyone who didn't get the job to tell anyone what we were doing.

Alitriona
01-23-2012, 10:18 PM
Thank you all for your answers.

Jamesaritchie
01-23-2012, 11:57 PM
It's odd, but I have once asked a prospective author to sign an NDA. We were doing a fairly innovative web-based serial and I was looking for someone to write to order from a synopsis on a particular schedule; I didn't want anyone who didn't get the job to tell anyone what we were doing.

I undertand asking, but unless some details of why you're asking are handed out, it would be silly for a writer to sign.

Signing a blind NDA is worse than dumb, it's begging for trouble.

Torgo
01-24-2012, 12:03 AM
I undertand asking, but unless some details of why you're asking are handed out, it would be silly for a writer to sign.

Signing a blind NDA is worse than dumb, it's begging for trouble.

I pretty much said what I did above. Would never ask someone to sign blind.

Filigree
01-24-2012, 01:18 AM
This is a street full of red flags.