The Contract

ContractThe book contract arrived. It seemed pretty straightforward to me, but I’ve never laid eyes on a book contract before, so what do I know? I followed the advice of my book consultant and shelled out some bucks to have someone knowledgeable review it.

I recognized that the contract was unusual. The publisher is unusual. It required some shared expenses. Having talked with the publisher, I was aware of this, and given that the author gets 50% of the net (as compared to maybe 12% from standard publishers), that didn’t seem unfair to me, especially as this is a new, startup publisher.

The reviewer sent the contract back with many, many comments. I looked at them all carefully. There were a few that I didn’t agree with, but some of the others seemed more than reasonable. For example, the contract specified that all rights to the work in other media such as TV, movies, audiobook, etc. would belong to the publisher. Now, the likelihood of my little novel being made into a movie is remote, but I didn’t see why I should give up the rights to my own work, even so. So I marked up the contract accordingly and returned it to the publisher with a polite note indicating that everything was up for discussion.

That was yesterday. No response so far. Of course, I reasoned, he needs time to look it over. I took my time, after all. But still. Is he pissed off? Insulted? Did he even see it yet? Am I stressing unnecessarily? Or is this an indication of thunderclouds on the horizon? Should I stop thinking about it? Should I call?

Or maybe I’ll just go for a walk on the beach and forget about it.