You are here:

Writing Books/Author's Contract


Dear Sandy,

I have written a book and, beyond reason, a publisher has expressed an interest in it. We've opened negotiations and they have sent me a rough idea of what the author's contract will be. Since this is my first time venturing into this paid-to-write arena, what should I know? What constitutes a good or bad contract?

For the record, I have checked out the publishers and they have a very good reputation with their signed authors. From what I've seen, it would be an excellent company to sign up with, I just want to make sure it's not the "someone wants to publish me!" blinders being put on.

Firstly, congratulations! Finding a publisher is always very hard and to have done that says a lot about you writing.

Now, the hard stuff!  All the major publishers have standard contracts. You can trust that. However, it would still be a good idea to get an agent. Sure, they charge a commission, but they will protect your interests, check contracts and push for a greater slice of the cake for you ( and them).

To not have an agent would be foolish, especially if you intend to keep writing. Getting one is usually a problem, but as you already have a publisher, it should be simple.

Find an agent who works with authors on the type of books you are writing and make contact.

I wish you and your book all the best.


Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Sandy McCutcheon


Author of 22 plays, 12 bestselling thrillers, a memoir and children's fiction.I can work with people on the process of writing, what to expect and ask for from an editor. How to work with the publisher`s marketing and publicity people. And how to survive book launches and publicity tours!


Published author of 22 plays, 12 bestselling thrillers, a young adult and three non-fiction titles. Visit his Moroccan blog at for a look at his blogging work.

St Andrews, Helsinki University and other institutions. Adult Educator of the Year Award, Australia

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]