They’ve just announced a new educational initiative which will focus on dissecting the boilerplate terms common to standard book publishing contracts and (I hope) detail which terms are appropriate, exploitative, or negotiable.
To coincide with this year’s conference, we’re announcing the rollout of the Authors Guild Fair Contract Initiative, a series of commentaries we will publish in the coming months to take a fresh look at the standard book publishing contract. Our guiding principle for this new initiative is to restore balance to the author-publisher relationship and help authors achieve a fair return for the efforts they contribute to the joint venture of book publication.
The commentaries will be published on The Authors Guild’s website, authorsguild.org over the next few months. Until then, all we have is the launch statement (PDF) that The Authors Guild released in addition to the blog post announcing the new initiative.
I don’t know that I will be covering the commentaries myself, but I will be following a couple other blogs: The Passive Voice and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. One blog is run by an IP lawyer who negotiates this type of contract, while the other is the blog of an author who knows almost as much about contracts as Passive Guy.
These two have the requisite knowledge to critique the commentaries and tell us whether The Authors Guild is accurately pointing out the worst flaws in publishing contracts, and not just publishing shallow overviews.
This blogger thinks that The Authors Guild is more likely to publish the latter than the former, but I would be happy to be proven wrong.
image by NobMouse