Before entering a co-authoring relationship, sign a collaboration agreement

The first thing you should write before entering into a co-authoring relationship is a collaboration agreement, said Stephen Gillen, an attorney with Wood, Herron & Evans, L.L.P.

“Do it before you write the manuscript, before you sign the publisher’s contract, before you write the sample chapters, before you write the outline, and before you write the proposal,” he said. “Do it first. If it’s too late to do it first, do it NOW! If you think you don’t need one, you’re wrong. By the time you realize you do, it’s probably too late.”

How to protect yourself from lower textbook royalties from foreign sales

Textbook authors need to be alert for the possible impact on them of the practice among some U.S. textbook publishers of selling books in foreign countries using an “inter-company” transfer price.

U.S.-based publishers generally sell into overseas markets through relationships with foreign publishers based in the destination country. Books sold in this way are sold to the foreign publisher at a discounted price to compensate the foreign publisher for its role in the distribution process. In such a case, the author’s royalty is calculated on the lesser amount received by the U.S. publisher from that sale.