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 did you get your contract checked by lawyer before signing?

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matthewslinn



Number of posts : 4
Registration date : 2010-06-03

PostSubject: did you get your contract checked by lawyer before signing?   Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:24 am

hi

its a bit late for my book now which is finished. i read the contract my self and looked at websites like this to judge the terms of my contract. i changed many of the terms of the contract and sent it back to them to negotiate better terms. unfortunatly a lot of the contract is in "legal speak"


did you get your contract checked by a lawyer before signing?

what terms did your publisher try and screw you with?
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matthewslinn



Number of posts : 4
Registration date : 2010-06-03

PostSubject: Re: did you get your contract checked by lawyer before signing?   Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:29 am

i kind of get the impression that book contracts are like bartering. they send you a rediculously biased contract and its your job to make changes to it. the best tactic would be to send them back an equaly rediculously biased contract (in your favour) and start the negotiations on every term from there.
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Shelagh
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Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

PostSubject: Re: did you get your contract checked by lawyer before signing?   Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:35 am

Hi Matthew,

Is this your book?

http://www.amazon.com/Build-Your-Own-Electric-Bicycle/dp/0071606211/

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Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
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Al Stevens
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Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

PostSubject: Re: did you get your contract checked by lawyer before signing?   Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:21 am

I did not have a lawyer look at any of my contracts. I always deleted (1) the clause that gives the publisher exclusive rights to publish future works and (2) the clause that ties royalites and advances to previous and future works.

Sometimes I'd negotiate higher advances.

I worked with several different NY publishers. I never felt like they were trying to screw the author with fine print, abstruse conditions, etc. They use a standard contract. Authors are their stable of performers. If they get a reputation for screwing authors, they have trouble recruiting other productive authors.

Now, that's only my experience, and my most recent contract was negotiated about eight years ago. So, this isn't advice; it's only an account of my experience. Take it for what it cost you.

If you get a lawyer, get one who specializes in publishing contracts.
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LC
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Registration date : 2009-03-28

PostSubject: Re: did you get your contract checked by lawyer before signing?   Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:33 am

I never felt like my pubs were trying to "screw" me, but yes, the contracts were definitely slanted to their advantage, and as I look back at now, I should have negotiated different things and probably was expected to. I didn't, and it has cost me. My fault, but I'll know better next time.
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mike bryon
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Registration date : 2010-02-10
Location : st vincent and the grenadines

PostSubject: Re: did you get your contract checked by lawyer before signing?   Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:34 am

I edited 3 CD Roms some years ago and I did get the contract from a software company checked. The speciality lawyer said it was a good contract almost entirely in my favour and in his opinion I should sign it as it was which I did. Incidentally, the product sold well and I received royalties until the company went bust. I later found out that they sold international rights and did not pay me my 50%.
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