The Guild’s Three-Step Approach to Negotiating Contracts
Step 1: The Authors Guild Model Trade Book Contract and Guide
Upon acceptance, every Guild member is sent a copy of The Authors Guild Model Trade Book Contract and Guide. This 64-page reference guide contains in-depth explanations of virtually every clause routinely found in a traditional publishing agreement. The explanations are chock full of helpful negotiation tips and strategies. The Guide also contains sample contract language to further aid members in their negotiations. Members are encouraged to study this resource in conjunction with the Guild’s written contract review discussed below.
Step 2: The Written Contract Review
The Guild routinely provides written contract reviews for Guild members who have received proposed contracts, provided that the member first agrees to send a copy of the executed agreement to the Guild. These reviews are specifically geared to the contract at issue, and contain a myriad of personalized suggested changes and deletions, accompanied by the reasoning for such. While these reviews are not intended to be exhaustive, members have expressed that they are an invaluable resource in addition to the Guide.
Step 3: Aid During Negotiations
Guild members who choose to negotiate their agreements without the assistance of an agent are both invited and encouraged to contact the office for guidance during contract negotiations. While the Guild does not negotiate individual member agreements, we are willing to answer members’ specific inquiries to aid them in securing the best deal possible.
In addition, the Legal Department regularly holds contract seminars around the country. These seminars help reinforce the contract negotiation points discussed in the Authors Guild Model Trade Book Contract and Guide as well as the written contract reviews. Further, these seminars teach members how to negotiate with publishers and agents.