Model Trade Book Contract


The Work.

This AGREEMENT (the "Agreement") is made this _______ day of ______, 20__, between _________________, with an address at ______________________________ (the "Author"), and ________________, with offices at ______________________________ (the "Publisher").


Author will deliver to Publisher a new and original manuscript tentatively entitled _____________ (the "Work"). The Work shall be a work of [fiction/nonfiction] containing approximately ________ words [and ________ photographs/illustrations]. The Work shall: [brief description of the work] (the "Description of the Work").

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This section describes the prospective work. It is important to make sure it accurately describes the book—other parts of the agreement, including acceptance of the manuscript and non-compete or option clauses, may hinge on it. For contracts issued based on a proposal and before the book is written, the work can be identified by a tentative title and by describing the proposed content, format, length, and/or market. Make sure the description conforms accurately to your proposal and to the work you plan to deliver.


Avoid characterizing in detail the plot, thesis, or other aspects of the book that may change in the course of writing. Also make sure that the length of the work is described in terms of word count rather than the number of book pages, which can be adjusted by a typesetter. Or, if the publisher insists on using page count, designate manuscript rather than printed pages.