Textbook contract negotiations: Do your homework

When it comes to contract negotiations, you have to do your homework, says Steve Gillen, partner at Wood, Herron & Evans, where he concentrates his practice on publishing, media, and copyright matters. “Negotiations are ultimately influenced by which side knows the most about the other side’s positions. The editor starts this contest with an advantage gained from experience in the market, experience doing other similar deals (undoubtedly many more than you have done), and the benefits of your perspective as reflected in your proposal. The way to get on an even footing with the editor/publisher is to learn more about the publisher’s plans for, and expectations of, your work — information that will help you evaluate your leverage and the editor’s weaknesses.