With e-books starting to surge, many publishers are asking authors to amend their existing contracts to include e-book and other electronic rights.

If you receive such an amendment from any publisher, please don't sign it before you read the National Writers Union's primer on e-book amendments located at:

http://nwu.org/sites/nwu.prometheusl...ract_amend.pdf

Most e-book amendments contain unconscionably low royalty rates. Thus, it's important to remember that you are under no obligation to sign an amendment to an existing contract. You should only sign an amendment if you get the terms you want. If you don't agree to a proposed amendment, the original contract remains in force. So, take your time and negotiate the best deal you can.

As negotiating an amendment or a contract can be an intimidating proposition, be sure to check out the NWU's Negotiating Contracts Over the Phone primer beforehand which is located at:

https://nwu.org/sites/nwu.prometheus...gOverPhone.pdf

This document is filled with useful information that will help you negotiate from a position of strength.

If you have any questions or concerns about a book contract and/or an e-book amendment, please contact us at advice@nwu.org

E-books present tremendous opportunities for authors, but only if you are fairly compensated for your work.

Paul J. MacArthur
Assistant National Contract Advisor
Vice President of External Organizing
National Writers Union
pmacarthur@nwu.org