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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 word "Non-Compete" in yellow font on a blue background beside a graphic of a contract


  • Limit the permitted content, publishing location, and publishing date of future works.

Consider the following:

  • Does the contract define competing works as ones that directly impact the market or sales of the previous work? Or is the definition more broad?
  • Does the non-compete clause expire after a set period of time?
  • Does it include an exception for scholarly or professional work?


"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.