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Publication Agreement Language

This guide provides some questions and language to consider when reading through and negotiating a publication agreement.

The words "Description of the work" in yellow font on a blue background with a graphic of a pile of papers beside them


  • General description of what the work is to contain (approximate page length, content, tentative title)

Consider the following:

  • Does it include language giving the publisher the right to reject the work and terminate the contract should your manuscript not meet the content expected?
    • If so, consider including more detailed information to clarify that you are on the same page (you could include the book proposal, sample chapters, etc.).



"Understanding and Negotiating Book Publication Contracts" by Author's Alliance is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Evans-Walls, T. M. (2005). Literary law guide for authors : copyright, trademark, and contracts in plain language (2nd ed.). FYOS Entertainment.


Legal Disclaimer

The information provided throughout this guide does not constitute legal advice, and should not be interpreted as such. While your resident librarians would be happy to try and assist with any questions, we are unable to provide legal advice and may need to refer you to a lawyer or agent.