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I am putting together an agreement with a guest author who's working on a foreword for my book. What details should be included in such an agreement? Right now I have included language that states the compensation for the foreword is the author's only claim on revenue from the book, and a request for permission to use her words/name in the book and in any publicity material to come.


Does that cover everything?



Aimee M. Sims

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Replies to This Discussion

Aimee, that's about it. Unless there's something special about the foreword that the guest author might want to reprint as her or his own work, make it clear that your author is a contract worker (work for hire). In other words, you commission the piece, you pay, and you own the piece from then on.

When I did a small press literary magazine, I copyrighted the contents of all the authors, which, in my understanding, protected them to reprint their own words anywhere else, and protected my magazine as well, securing my rights to the contents as a whole. 

The issue of using your guest writer's name in publicity is a separate matter. I (not a lawyer) would say that quoting the foreword on your back cover, or even front cover, would be acceptable as usual practice. Beyond that, I would ask permission  with specific wording as to what you intend. Amazon has a blanket statement about using anything one says or writes, and I cringe every time I look at what they claim they can do. 


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