Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


How can I find exemplary publishing contract?

Here is my problem: is there a free or an inexpensive publishing contract (template) on the Internet that I could download?

I would like to publish a series of books in Ireland, I am a not a writer but a translator. So my situation is slightly different from the usual "writer, who wants to publish his own work".

The authors are asking for the publishing contract, and I have tried going to solicitors (and there aren't many, who deal with intellectual property, and those who do do are only interested in cases where you can sue for illegal copyright use), they were not interested in a small publisher. I also learnt that a lot of publishing houses do not even use solicitors and draw up their own contracts. I decided to find either somebody else's contract or a template of a contract, amend it to suit my situation, then contact a "smaller" solicitor to verify the contract for me.

People I have talked to regarding this all worked in publishing at some stage of their lives, none of them have a contract to even show me (or so they say anyway ;). Help!

It is rather surprising how difficult it is to get a clean, coherent contract written up, particularly when you end up with a lawyer who is obsessed with covering all the possible bad scenarios and ensuring you're not at risk given even the most outlandish situation. What should be simple one or two paragraph contracts stretch out into five, seven, even ten page contractual agreements that are more intimidating than...