You will be signing contracts when you publish. They could be with publishers or publishing service providers. Read them. Understand them.
Hot off the press … this is from my just released book How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos … and book that you DEFINITELY want to get pronto. Here’s the link to order yours: http://amzn.to/1W7uLld
Caution Alert: Before You Sign Any Contracts …
Never sign a contract for a publishing service until you understand what the contract really says and that you have checked out the provider with others who have used the services. Key question to ask when speaking directly to someone who has engaged them before: Would you use this person or company again? If there is any hesitation in the response, run.
Before signing ANYTHING, always do a Google search with the name of the person and company followed by the words: problems, complaints, ripoff, lawsuit, publishing predator, concerns, misrepresentation.
Make sure you dig past the first five pages. The truth is the great majority of those doing online searches rarely go past the first page of what comes up. Companies and people who get grumbles know the trick of pumping out a lot of postings with key words and phrases and push them to the top of the searches. The bad news continues to drop. Do your homework.
Tip: Don’t let your ego guide you. Yes, you want a book. Contracts are usually written on behalf of the person giving it to you—not your behalf. Don’t leap until you understand what you are really jumping into.
Before Signing Any Contract, Determine How to Terminate It
Anytime you enter into a contract, any contract, you want to know what’s in the divorce clause—if there is one, and there should be. After all, not all relationships work, whether they are personal or in business. You, your book and those you engage to get it created and published are no different. Some will have it stated that they have the rights to THE WORK for the life of the work. On the other end of the spectrum, many will say it can be terminated with a 30-day notice.
With self-publishing companies, they may allow termination but with strings attached—i.e., it has the right to sell any remaining inventory post the termination date. Then it’s over.
But, and it’s a big but, how is it to be given AND does it have any definitions to it? Some will say that the relationship ends via an email notice within a specific timeframe (make sure you copy yourself within the email and save it to your files); some require a certified letter (I would suggest you eliminate it and sub in an email notice). Whatever it is, follow it and keep copies.
No company should have the right to continue printing your book and selling it after you terminate your relationship. That includes foreign rights.
Tip: If terminating with a self-publishing company, get the inventory count the date you announce the termination and check again 30 days later. Make sure the Amazon page and old eBook come down immediately. During the “30-day” transition, have a new eBook made, create your own Amazon page so you are back in the online book selling option.
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 34 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #34 was published this summer: The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors & Writers. Get your copy.
Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2015, the dates are August 27-29th. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow .
Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.
Author U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.
If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen
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