Thursday, December 06, 2012

Six Essential Issues in Any Ebook Contract Negotiation

Digital Book World -  |

Publishers and authors are shaping new standard contracts as the industry shifts toward digital-first and e-original book publishing.
As opposed to big publishers, which are thought to pay authors a standard ebook royalty of 25%, new independent ebook publishers like The Atavist, Open Road Media and OR Books, can and do pay authors substantially more. But, on what terms? And, royalties aren’t the only issue at hand as a new publishing landscape emerges.

There are six basic issues at stake in an ebook contract negotiation:
1. Duration
2. Territory
3. Consent
4. E-functionality
5. Medium
6. Royalty

Basically, these issues add up to answering the following questions for the publisher (and the author):
  • What can I do with this intellectual property?
  • How long can I do it for?
  • What cut of it am I going to get?
Kim G. Schefler, Esq., a Partner at Levine Plotkin & Menin, and F. Robert Stein, Esq., of counsel at Pryor Cashman, conducted a mock negotiation at the fall meeting of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law section of the NY State Bar Association, elucidating these points.
The contract, as proposed by a hypothetical independent publisher in the mock negotiation, described the property — the ebook under discussion — as “a previously unpublished book, which includes photographs and illustrations.” Schefler and Stein’s conversation followed basic negotiation strategies and revealed emerging ebook contract precedents.

Full article here

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