Sample Contract

BLUE MERLE PUBLISHING

This Agreement is made this Twelfth day of February 2012 between THE AUTHOR, whose residence address is ADDRESS (hereinafter called The Author); and Donna Ball, Inc. DBA Blue Merle Publishing, whose principal place of business is in Mountain City Georgia 30562 (hereinafter called the Publisher) concerning two novels presently known as KILLER NINJA KITTENS, and REVENGE OF THE KILLER NINJA KITTENS(hereafter referred to collectively as The Work).

DESCRIPTION

This agreement is made for two works of fantasy, each between 60,000 and 80,000 words, in which four kittens are transformed by a mad scientist into killer ninjas and must save the world before it’s too late.

1.GRANT OF RIGHTS:

A. The Author grants the Publisher exclusive rights to produce, publish, translate and sell in all print (including Large Print, Book Club, Library, Braille, Special Editions, trade paperback, mass market paperback, hardcover and other print editions whether herein listed or yet to be discovered), audio book, podcast, and electronic formats (including email, download, disk, CD, or any other digital format known or yet to be invented), including first and second serializations and all reprints of The Work, in all languages throughout the world.

B. The Author retains dramatic production and performance rights, including film, stage, television and webcast. The Author shall in no case allow a novelization of the dramatic version of The Work to be produced without the express consent of The Publisher.

C. The Author retains all other rights not specifically listed herein

2.WARRANTIES

The Author hereby represents and warrants to the Publisher that The Work is original to the author in form and content, free and clear of any counts of libel, plagiarism, breach of privacy or misrepresentation of facts, that the work is not under license by any other publisher anywhere in the world, and that the Author is the sole owner of the work with full power to enter into this contract.

The Author releases The Publisher from any responsibilities relating to any legal actions incurred by the contents of the Work.

3.DELIVERY

The Author agrees to deliver to The Publisher a complete and acceptable manuscript of The Work in Word or RTF format by a date to be mutually determined between The Author and The Publisher. The acceptability of The Work shall be solely determined by The Publisher, and in no case shall The Publisher be required to publish The Work if it is deemed unacceptable for publication. Should the final version of The Work be deemed unacceptable for publication by The Publisher this agreement shall be considered immediately dissolved and all obligations herein fulfilled. The Publisher is not responsible for lost or damaged files, and The Author is required to keep a back-up copy of the final manuscript of The Work.

4. PUBLICATION

A)The Publisher agrees to publish The Work in trade paperback and electronic form in the English language within six months of receipt of a complete and acceptable manuscript of The Work, and to keep The Work available through print-on-demand throughout the term of this contract. In the event of delay from causes beyond the control of the Publisher, the publication date may be postponed accordingly, but not to exceed twelve months from the delivery of the completed work.

B)The retail price of The Work in all editions will be solely determined by The Publisher who may, from time to time, price the digital edition of The Work free in order to boost sales.

C)The Publisher will provide ISBNs for print editions of The Work, and for electronic editions as deemed necessary, under the imprint of Blue Merle Publishing.

E) The Publisher agrees to make The Work available through Print-on-Demand in the English language throughout the term of this agreement.

5. COPYRIGHT

The copyright to The Work will be registered in the name of the author. The Publisher, upon first publication of the Work, agrees duly to copyright it with the United States Copyright Office under The Author’s name, and to print a statement of copyright in each edition of The Work.

6. ROYALTY AND STATEMENTS

A)On all editions which The Publisher causes to be published, and for the sale of all rights to which The Publisher holds license , The Publisher will pay The Author a royalty of 50% of the net amount received by The Publisher from the distributor or purchasing agent for The Work.

B) Statements of Earnings and royalty payments will be issued once per month, beginning seventy days after the end of the calendar month in which the book was published. In no case will The Publisher be held liable for late payments or statements caused by a delay in receipts from the distributor or purchasing agent. The Publisher will, however, be required to notify The Author with all due speed in the event of such a delay.

C) No royalty shall be paid on free copies, copies purchased by The Author, copies purchased at cost, review copies, or copies used for promotional purposes

7. MISCELLANEOUS

A) The Author will receive five (5) free copies of The Work for personal use, and will be allowed to purchase other copies at Publisher’s cost from the printer through arrangement with The Publisher

B) The Author may not sell published copies of The Work in any form, whether digital or printed, through any private arrangement without prior consent of The Publisher

C) The Author will supply signed release forms and copyright information for all art, illustrations, maps and photos used in The Work, including the author photo

D) The Author may reprint up to 5000 words, or three chapters, whichever is lesser, for promotional purposes on his/her web site, providing a link is included to an online retailer or to The Publisher’s web site.

8. BANKRUPTCY AND TRANSFERABILITY

A)If the Publisher should file for bankruptcy or reorganization, or the Publisher liquidates its business for any reason, all rights granted by the Author to the Publisher will at that time revert back to the Author.

B)If the Publisher changes its legal form, is acquired by another entity, or otherwise changes ownership, all rights and responsibilities granted in this contract will be transferred to the succeeding entity.

9. GOVERNING LAW

This Contract shall be governed exclusively by and construed according to the laws of the state of Georgia, without giving effect to conflicts of law principles.

10. AUDIT

The Author may, with reasonable written notice, assign and designate a representative to examine the Publisher’s records as it relates to the Work. Such examination shall occur during normal business hours at The Publisher’s place of business and shall be at the Author’s expense unless errors are found in excess of ten percent (10%) of royalties in Author’s favor and an amount in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), whichever is greater, in which case, the Publisher shall then defray all usual, customary and reasonable charges for such audit. The Publisher shall pay the Author any sums due within thirty (30) days.

11.ENTIRE CONTRACT

This written Contract contains the sole and entire Agreement between the parties and shall supersede any and all other prior agreements between the parties. This Agreement may not be modified or amended except in writing signed by the party against whom such modification or amendment is to be enforced. By signing the following and submitting the required materials the Author agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

12. REVERSION OF RIGHTS

All rights to each volume of The Work not otherwise licensed to outside agencies will be eligible for reversion to the author after a period of three years from the publication date of the second volume of The Work, and providing that each volume of The Work has sold less than 1000 copies in all editions in the 12 months prior to the date of the request for reversion.

13. SUCCEEDING WORKS

The Publisher shall have first right of refusal to the next book in the Ninja Kittens series on terms mutually agreeable to both The Author and the Publisher, and shall make his intentions known within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of an electronic version of the complete manuscript.

X_________________________ _______________________ AUTHOR x_________________
Author Social Security Number                                                                            PUBLISHER x______________________

Date:________________________ Date:______________________

EXPLANATION OF CONTRACT

An informal explanation of the terms of the Blue Merle Publishing Contract. We want you to know what you’re getting into!

DESCRIPTION

Don’t worry if this isn’t completely accurate. It’s just to make sure we both know these books are about ninja kittens, not evil dancing babies

1.GRANT OF RIGHTS:

A. Basically, this gives the publisher the print, electronic and audio rights for every edition imaginable, and to sell those rights to, for example, book clubs, large print houses, and mass market paperback reprint houses. (you still get 50% on anything sold; see royalties)

B. You keep movie rights, if you want

C. You keep any other rights (like merchandising) not mentioned here

2.WARRANTIES

This is to make sure that you own the work, that it’s original, and that you haven’t libeled any ninja kittens(or anyone else). If you have, the publisher won’t be held legally responsible.

3.DELIVERY

The due date is whenever we both feel the book has reached its best version. If, however, after all our efforts, the publisher should for some reason find the ms. unacceptable (not likely) or you should just get tired of working on it, the contract will be dissolved without any further ado. Wwill hold no author hostage.

4. PUBLICATION

A) We’ll bring the book out in e-book and trade (5×8) paperback within six months of receiving a final version. We can generally do it in 6 weeks, but for various reasons we might decide that’s not a good idea– some months are dead for book sales, sometimes the best copyeditors are not available, and sometimes we might want to wait for a quote or review. This timeline can be negotiated.

B) We will not be able to set the retail price until after the book is formatted, but generally the print price for a full length Blue Merle trade paperback will be between 16.95 and 19.95. This is clearly higher than a publisher with offset printing capabilities would charge, so we will rely heavily on Amazon discounts and digital sales. The e-book price will usually be between 4.99 and 6.99, with occcasional sales and special offers.

C)So far there’s been no proof of the usefulness of ISBNs for digital books and most retailers don’t ask for them. Obviously, all print editions will have a separate ISBN

E) The book(s) will be in print until the contract is dissolved.

5. COPYRIGHT

We register the copyright in your name and make sure the copyright is printed in each edition.

6. ROYALTY AND STATEMENTS

A)Quite simply, you will receive 50% of everything we collect on behalf of the book(s). Example:

Your e-book sells for 4.99 on Amazon.com
Amazon pays Blue Merle 3.49

You receive 1.74
We receive 1.74
OR
Your e-book sells for 4.99 on the Blue Merle web site
You receive 2.49
Blue Merle receives 2.49

Your print book sells for 16.95 in a book store
CreateSpace via Ingram pays Blue Merle 2.00
You receive 1.00
Blue Merle receives 1.00
OR
Your book sells for 16.95 on Amazon
Amazon pays Blue Merle 7.00
You receive 3.50
We receive 3.50
OR
Your book sells for 16.95 on the Blue Merle web site
POD deducts 4.00 for printing
You receive 6.47
Blue Merle receives 6.47

B) It takes the online retailers 60 days to issue their first accounting statement, and we allow an additional 10 days to get your statement out to you (though it probably will be done sooner). Payment for print books is collected at the time of the order (or, in the case of pre-orders, on shipping), so there is no lag time between the sale of a book and payment of the author. Keep in mind that certain sales will not be reported every month, though we try very hard to deal only with distributors who report in a timely fashion. After your first statement, you will receive statements (and checks, hopefully!) monthly.

C) Obviously, we can’t pay you for what we don’t collect

7. MISCELLANEOUS

A) In addition to the 5 free copies, you will receive 5 (or more if needed) bound proof copies in trade paperback to send to reviewers or booksellers you know personally. In most cases, these proof copies will have the final cover art in place, all but the most obscure typos corrected, and the only difference between these and the final book will be the word “proof” stamped on the back cover. You will also receive a discount code after publication so that you can order extra copies from the printer.

B) Self explanatory

C) We can’t use any art in the book, including the author photo, that isn’t released and credited. If you need more release forms, just ask

D) Self explanatory. It’s probably best to link to Amazon and B&N from your web site, since that is one-stop-shopping for most people

8. BANKRUPTCY AND TRANSFERABILITY

A)If bad things happen, rights revert to you

B)If good things happen, everything stays the same

9. GOVERNING LAW

All contracts have to be arbitrated in their state of origin

10. AUDIT

Hopefully, this will never be a problem. If it is, you may audit our books at any time, but we are only required to pay the auditor if a mistake is found over $500 in your favor. ANY amount that is found owed to you is required to be paid according to criminal law, so that is not spelled out here.

11.ENTIRE CONTRACT

Legalese

12. REVERSION OF RIGHTS

Naturally, we hope this will be profitable enough that we both will want to continue forever! But just in case… we have found it takes about 2 years for a book to start selling in appreciable numbers, and like to give a book at least one additional year to make a profit. Because this is a series and it’s usually the second book that kickstarts the first, the clock doesn’t really start until Book 2 is published. So three years after book 2 is published, if both books have sold less than 1000 copies in the previous year in a total of all versions, you may request the rights back. This would make us sad. But we would not hold you back if you thought you could do better elsewhere.

13. SUCCEEDING WORKS

Similarly, we would like the chance to make an offer on Book 3 before Random House or Simon & Schuster does. You do not have to accept this offer, but it would be nice to make us feel like players. You would get a new contract with Book 3.

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