As an agent your primary focus is on discovering, then nurturing and protecting your Author clients in dealing with publishers and other media companies. A well-executed contract can go far in protecting both you and your author. A poorly constructed contract can adversely affect your author and business. A poorly constructed contract can cost you and your author money. When executing your author contracts there are many items that can define a contract as truly representing your authors best interests, for example –
What rights should I keep for my Author?
What is the best advance and royalty rate for my author?
Are there permissions that my author will need to clear?
When would rights revert back to my author?
What about an option on my author’s next manuscript?
What would cause the contract to be terminated?
General delivery and publication issues, and finally,
Housekeeping clauses which cover all the truly mundane things like taxes.
Not to be forgotten when discussing contracts is the royalty statement. The royalty statement is the explanation behind the royalty check the author has received. A well-organized royalty statement will keep track of your author’s sales and license revenue by type of sale, units sold, dollar amount received, royalty rate and earnings due the author.