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Contract vetting story

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Contract vetting - a fictionalised account of how Jill dealt with her publishing contract

Jill's interest in old tombstones meant that she had collected tombstone inscriptions all her adult life. She'd even taught herself basic Latin to be able to translate them. Even though her husband Len always teased her about it, whenever they left their village in the Yorkshire dales to visit other parts of the English countryside, Jill would take her notebook and camera with her and plan visits to interesting churchyards. Over the years her collection of inscriptions grew and eventually she decided to collect the most interesting ones together into a book, illustrated with her photographs.

She had anticipated that it would be really difficult to get her book published, so she was thrilled when the third publisher she sent it to, a small company in London, offered to publish it for a modest advance. The contract they sent her was a bit mystifying, though.

How did she know what it all meant? What did 'net' mean? Did she have to give the publisher 'legal term of copyright ' and what did it mean? What was 'a reserve against returns'? What did the clauses about royalties and discounts mean? Was it safe to sign it? She'd heard that agents would help with contracts, but why would an agent be interested in representing her book, for a 10% share of her advance of £500? Common-sense told her she was on her own, but she hated signing anything she didn't understand. It would cost a fortune to consult a solicitor, but how else could she get a professional opinion on her contract?

WritersServices' contract-vetting service would provide Jill with exactly what she needs - a publishing contracts expert to look through her contract and advise her on any problems. This professional view would take on board the type of book being contracted and what are regarded as standard terms in different kinds of publishing.

If the contract-vetting did not come up with any problems, then Jill could proceed to sign the contract without further anxiety. Any problems which were discovered by the contracts expert would be clearly laid out, so that Jill could raise them and sort them out with the publisher. She could then go ahead with signing up her book for publication without worrying about the contract, and look forward to seeing it in print!


Contract vetting

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