Model Trade Book Contract

26.

Author’s Editor.

If the editor assigned to Author for the Work leaves Publisher for any reason prior to delivery of the manuscript, Publisher, in consultation with Author, will assign Author another qualified editor as soon as possible within two weeks of the first editor's departure. If the work on the manuscript is delayed for any reason due to a change of editor, the Delivery Date will be revised accordingly upon mutual agreement between the Author and Publisher.

Commentary

An editor's unanticipated departure during the publication process is not only frustrating, but it can compromise the publication of your book. Editors shepherd manuscripts to publication, which is why, as an advocacy matter, the Authors Guild believes that it is critical to have a process in place in the contract that ensures a prompt replacement, helping your book stay on track. Section 26 of the Model Contract requires the publisher to assign a replacement editor as soon as possible, and within two weeks at the latest, following the first editor's departure and makes that assignment subject to the author's approval. Failure to make a timely and proper assignment gives the author a right to terminate the contract with an obligation to repay any advance payments made under the contract contingent on first proceeds if another publisher publishes the book. This is not a term in many contracts today or that publishers might readily agree to, but the Authors Guild believes that it is very important to include and hopes publishers will assent. We have seen too many authors whose books get lost at the publisher when their editor leaves. Authors may choose to go with a particular publishing company because of the editor who buys the book, and the author should have some say in who takes over.