You may be interested in this lovely explanation of a book contract from Pitch University (with Jeffery V M. Mehalic, the Write Lawyer). The contract’s legalese is broken down and explained and it’s rather eye opening. I was utterly fascinated.
Then I was outraged. Then I was all scared. Then I was all downtrodden. Then I was all determined. Then I was all, damn, a $0.7 cent royalty is no where near minimum wage!
Then I began to wonder a few things, things like what’s the historical background to the set up of the publishing industry? Why is it the publisher benefits far more than the writer, who’s poured in time, imagination, talent, blood, sweat and you know the rest? Who was it that decided that the AUTHOR, the very reason for the existence of a book, comes last? Is there some kind of secret society, a brother or sisterhood of publishers who meet on a weekly basis to discuss the various legal ways to screw an author?
Going by this contract, it sure seems like there might be.