Perhaps an agent has offered you a contract with a well-known publishing house. However, you should not take the publishing contract lightly, and you should take a good look at it. Based on experience, it is known that some agents use specific languages in the publishing contract that cannot be easily understood by a layman. These terms included in such agreements mostly haunt back at freelancers who have little knowledge about publishing contracts.
You should know all the details involved in the publishing contract before agreeing to its terms and conditions. This act will go a long way towards helping your career as a freelance publisher. So, you should ask crucial questions before signing the contract or download a professionally prepared publishing contract to know the full details about it.
The following are detailed information that should be found in any publishing contract.
This point might be a general view, but it should be given a critical look. You need to be sure that all works are thoroughly and accurately described before signing the publishing contract. Getting this aspect in publishing contracts can lead to some surprising negative results that any freelancer might not like.
The standard rights given by the author to publishers before the work is published should be authorized. It should also be clearly stated if the work needs to be released as soft-copy or hard-copy. In addition to this right, royalty involved in the publishing contract should be clearly stated. Therefore, if all these are entirely ok by you, you should not hesitate to permit to publish. Otherwise, if you suspect any move of exploiting you, then you should not give the publisher the right.
Most publishing contracts make provisions for copyright after publication. The publisher does this act by registering the book in the name of the author for copyright. Your role as a freelance writer is to make sure that your publisher registers your new book within 90 days. This act will give you the chance to gain the full benefits involved in copyright law if someone is known with copyright infringement. These benefits include the attorney's fees and statutory damages.
Most of the publishing contracts contain sections where royalties are fully described. This description explains the amount that the publisher will pay for different types of books. Sometimes, these sections include penalties involved if the work has been published elsewhere.
So a freelance writer should read these sections and understand its meaning before signing the publishing contract. If the contract has some royalties that have been established on "publisher's net receipts" or any other related form, then you should not waste time to change that condition.
You should give full attention to the clause stating how the payment will be made after execution. It is best practice to negotiate that once the publishing contract is signed, then advance you be paid immediately. However, if not quickly, you can state the number of days for the advance payment.
All the points, as mentioned earlier, should be given attention in the process of signing the publishing contract. In case you are new in freelancing business, then you can download some prepared templates on publishing contracts to know what it entails. This act will keep you safe from any cheat and also allow you to enjoy the full benefits of your hard work.