Publishing Agreement Checklist

Attorney Michelle DelMar

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Trademark Attorney, Contract Attorney, Corporation Attorney

Michelle DelMar, Esq., Trademark Attorney, Contract Attorney, Corporation Attorney

Michelle DelMar, Esq.
Small Business Lawyer, Trademark Attorney and Executive Contract Lawyer.
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Understanding Agreements

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Michelle DelMar, Esq.

Business Lawyer, Trademark Lawyer and Executive Contract Lawyer

Publishing Agreement Checklist

For Writers, Artists and Publishers

Publishing lawyer for Authors and Publishers . The following are important issues related to your publishing agreement.

1.      First, have you registered your copyright to the work with the Library of Congress?  (Highly Recommended- See Copyright Registration Info)

2.      Determine whether this is a Work for Hire (typically not recommended-please contact me to discuss), License to use "Work" or Assignment of all rights.

3.      What is scope of right to use Work or scope of Assignment of rights, for example:

  • Territory: North America Print only or Worldwide, etc.?
  • Print, Audiobook, Electronic Media, All Media, Media not invented yet, unlimited use, hardcover, paperback, motion picture, translations, Braille, etc.?
  • Merchandising (use of illustrations on t-shirts, hats, etc.)?
  • Book club rights?
  • Derivative works?
  • Sublicensing rights?
  • Right of publisher to lease plates for reprint?
  • Advertising and Promotional material, etc.?

4.      Copyright and Credit:  WHO OWNS THE COPYRIGHTS?

  • Copyright protection - Publisher's obligation to display Copyright Notice.
  • Publisher's obligation to give credit to creator/artist.
  • If biography of artist displayed, artist will want to have right to approve or require changes.
5.      Are there advance payments prior to or during creation of work?

6.      Royalties:

  • Percentage or Flat Rate?
  • Timing of payments?
  • Right to inspect publisher's records to assure accuracy of payments?

7.      Is there a prohibition on manipulation or alteration of the Work by publisher or any other third party?

8.      Is the contract binding for projects other than the current Work/Book (future versions, sequels)?

9.    What is the provision for return of artwork?

10.  What happens when the book becomes "out of print?"  Do rights revert to Author/Artist?

11.  What rights and obligations survive termination of agreement?

12.  What if Publisher does not promote book/work or files for bankruptcy?

13.  What, if any, are the limitations on author-illustrator from creating competing works?

14.  Is there a right to assign royalties, etc.?

This is not an exclusive list of issues and other important issues pertaining to specific circumstances, will likely apply.


This office offers representation to galleries, artists, collectors, writers, publishers, auction houses, and more.


Artist-Gallery Agreements
Consignment Agreements
Sale and Royalty Agreements
Sale and Licensing Agreements
Assignment of Rights
Rights of Privacy and Publicity
Moral Rights Protection
Physical Alteration or Destruction of Fine Art

Copyright Ownership
Defenses to Infringement Claims



Author-Publisher Contracts
Issues for Authors of
Shorter Works
Agent Agreements
Collaboration Contracts
Ghost-writing Contracts
Authors' Rights



Defenses to Infringement Claims



Click here to schedule a Consultation with a Boston Business Lawyer or Maine Business Lawyer, Michelle L. DelMar, Esq.

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