Publishers, Authors and Literary Agents Representation
As a firm that practices entertainment law, writers are an integral part of the industry. Manuscripts and screenplays form the basis of much of the original content upon which motion pictures are based. The acquisition of rights to this material is a significant exercise for independent production companies if they want to have a pipeline of projects with which to work.
In the area of writing and publishing, however, there are issues that have no bearing on the area of film and content creation and acquisition. In this age of self-publishing, authors now have to deal with the contracts and negotiation that literary agents used to do for them. And, without a doubt, most authors have no concept of what the ramifications of signing contracts with “publishers” of self-published can mean to their future as writers.
There are many aspects of the creation of a completed book that writers used to leave to their publishers. Today, they have to understand how to work with front cover designers, back cover designers, content writers, illustrators, editors, interior layout designers and printers.
And then there are the various aspects of intellectual property protection and policing to ensure that content pirates don’t steal your writing and use it anywhere without your consent and payment.
As infomercials love to say, “but wait, there’s more!” What about the steps that are necessary to market and distribute your books? Remember sales? If you aren’t going to market and sell your book, then writing your book was nothing but a hobby. Is that you? Hopefully not.
What if you are skilled enough to write something that is sought after as the source material for use in another genre? There are contracts attempting to purchase or option your content to review and negotiate. In the past, with traditional publishers on the team, you didn’t have to really get your hands dirty with the specific issues. They did much of it for you.
Now, the ball is in your court to deal with licensing or selling your content if you have written good material. Licensing and optioning are two rather complex and detailed methods of monetizing your writing, so you had better do it right. Your rewards are a function of maximizing each proposal for your own benefit.