5 Things to consider when negotiating your textbook contract audit clause

One of the most important provisions in your textbook publishing contract is the audit clause, which will specify the conditions for how and when you can request and conduct an audit. In the absence of an audit clause, some publishers will still comply with a request to audit, although they are not contractually required to do so.

While the large publishers have calculated and paid royalties to thousands of authors, contract terms can vary, automated royalty systems have limitations, and the accounting teams at publishers are made up of human beings who can make mistakes. If an author wants a better understanding as to the calculation and accuracy of his or her royalties, the best course of action is to request a royalty audit.

On Demand Webinar: 20 Tips & 20 questions for your next textbook deal

In this webinar recorded at the 2016 TAA Conference on June 25, Stephen Gillen, a partner at Wood Herron & Evans, and author of Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts, takes you on a tour of a typical textbook publishing contract, pointing out the highlights along the way – what’s usually negotiable; what’s often not negotiable; what questions to ask; and when to ask them.

Book Review: Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts

One of the first experiences a textbook author will have is dealing with a publishing contract. Very few of us are attorneys ourselves and very few of us will have had any prior experience negotiating a publishing contract. Our expertise is in our teaching discipline—not in contract law.

I have learned—the hard way—that I should NOT be the only one looking at contracts and amendments presented to me by my publisher. I’ve therefore made it a habit to have an attorney specializing in textbook publishing contracts to review, suggest, and debate the points in anything I sign. Now I have a much better idea of the potential risks and rewards involved in each new professional writing project.

Work-for-hire or transfer of copyright? Understanding your rights

In the publishing world, the concepts of “work-for-hire” and “transfer of copyright” can be challenging to navigate. Authors are often confronted in the publishing agreements by language that is vague and complicated, such as: “The work will be a work-made-for-hire as defined by the Copyright Act, but, if the work is deemed not a work-for-hire, author hereby irrevocably transfers all right, title and interest in the work to the publisher for the entire term of copyright throughout the world.”

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 8, 2016

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