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What Every Writer Needs to Know That Every Publisher Should Tell Them BEFORE Signing a Contract!


Authors are entitled to know exactly what to expect before signing in with a publisher.


An author’s written works are like their children. If they’ve spent years, possibly even a lifetime developing a quality work and it is finally accepted for publication, this is cause for a great celebration.


A publishing contract is a legal document, and by now you know “legal” means “review carefully before signing on the dotted line… and ask lots of questions”!


Make a list of our questions. You may wish to consult an attorney and have them add their own questions to your list.


Enthusiasm for your acceptance is wonderful and I don’t intend to rain on your parade—but you must be cautious.

Remember, this work is one of your children. If you were sending them to a summer camp, you would be asking lots of questions before you deliver Johnny and Mary into the hands of the staff and counselors.

You may be visiting the camp before the session begins, to meet some of the staff members, and if possible, even spend a day or two observing a session.


If you have any feelings of desperation, wash them away. Release them. This is not your only opportunity to get this work published.  There is ALWAYS another way to get your book before the public, especially today.


The future of your work may depend on your prospective publisher’s answers to the thoughtful questions you ask.

      •Where will my book be sold?

      •Who is your wholesaler or distributor? 

      •What is your marketing budget?

      •What is your promotion/publicity budget?

      •Will I have to bear any of the costs of publishing or marketing?

      •Is my royalty payment negotiable?

      •What about subsidiary rights?

      •How long is the contract in effect (if this is not included)?

      •What is the termination agreement (if this is not included)?

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