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Some useful information about Author's Rights.

Know your Rights.

There are important details you need to know,whether you intend to self-publish, or try to hook an agent and publish traditionally.

The time to negotiate your rights is when your publisher offers you a contract.

Do not sign a contract without taking expert legal advice. If you are foolish enough to do so, you will probably find that you have signed all your rights away, and that you are tied to a long book deal with them.

You should avoid all types of publisher that want to charge you money to produce your book.

A would-be author can expect to receive 8-12% royalties.

The main things you should consider are a rising percentage of royalties, the more books you sell.

It's important to realise that royalties are not based on the jacket price of your book. Publishers give huge discounts of 50-65 per cent off the jacket price to wholesalers and book clubs.

Say your book is priced at £5, with a 50 per cent discount to a wholesaler, you would receive 25p a copy. That's £250 for every thousand copies, £25.000 for a 100,000 copies, so don't pack up your day job.

It's not all bad news, because if you self-publish on Amazon, you can receive up to 70 per cent in royalties.

Depending on the language in which your book is written, English rights, foreign rights, film rights, electronic rights, should be important considerations.

I hope this brief summary offers a basic understanding of the kind of rights which authors should be aware of, and the potential opportunities. The question is how can I, the author, be doing more to ensure I am best maximising these rights?

I hope that helps.

Asked by: Adrian Sroka

  1. Adrian Sroka on December 2, 2017

    Jeremy, I respect your opinion, however, I stand by my post as I believe that you are referring to a would-be author exercising full control over all aspects of the self-publishing process of their novel.

  2. Jeremy Gavins on December 2, 2017

    I agree with all your points apart from "You should avoid all types of publisher that want to charge you money to produce your book."

    I know I have said this before but if you self publish and engage the use of a Self-Publishing company then you have to pay them to print your books. I am using one of these, but the Publisher will be me. That is, on the page where it says who the publisher will be is the name I will use as my publishing name. Not the Self publishing provider.

    So, I think you should change the above sentence into "You should avoid all types of publisher who will charge you to produce your book AND use their own name as the publisher"

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