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Thread: What are the basics of negotiating with publishers?

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  1. #2
    practical experience, FTW screenscope's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    600
    Don't worry, it's perfectly normal and it all works out!

    The key is not to panic (hard to do!) or feel rushed when a contract arrives. Whoever sent it to you expects you to get it checked out and negotiate, so if they pressure you to sign and return it straight away, that's a big red flag.

    I couldn't get an agent, but I did receive a contract offer from a small UK publisher (which I accepted). It was too small to interest an agent, which would have been my first choice if it was a big money offer or from a large publisher, so I took the following steps:

    - I checked standard book contracts by searching online on UK websites
    - I showed the contract to a family member who is a lawyer
    - A friend of a friend works in publishing (here in Australia and formerly in the UK) and also checked the deal
    (without these contacts, I would have hired an entertainment lawyer in the UK to review the contract)

    The upshot was that the contract was pretty standard and all above board and I negotiated a few things, such as retaining the film/TV and game rights. I've just signed another deal with the same publisher, which was extremely relaxed the second time around.

    Fortunately, there were no red flags in my contract, but I was told to ensure it had an expiry date and that all rights revert to me after that date and also if the publishing company goes bust.

    Ideally, I would like to get an agent so that I don't have to worry about all this stuff, but while this first experience was stressful, it was also very exciting. Good luck!
    Last edited by screenscope; 06-19-2019 at 03:02 AM.
    Author of TimeStorm and the upcoming Blurred Vision - Website https://stormingtime.wordpress.com/ - Amazon: https://amzn.to/2nVjOb5 - Twitter: https://twitter.com/StormingTime

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