9th April 2015
Members of The Publishers Association’s Trade Publishers Council (TPC) and the Association of Authors’ Agents (AAA) have agreed a set of good practice guidance for the process of agreeing contracts.
Both parties had become concerned about the delays being caused in negotiating and concluding contracts which in turn was leading to a delay in payments being made to authors and so set up a working group to explore how the process could be improved. The guidelines published today identify a number of improvements in how publishers and agents conduct contract negotiations which will speed up the process for the benefit of all parties. The group was chaired by Maddie Mogford of Hachette UK and Anna Davis of Curtis Brown led for the agents’ representatives.
Sam Edenborough, President of the AAA, said: "We're absolutely delighted that our Joint Contracts working group with the TPC has produced this excellent document. It's full of practical recommendations for our members and should help make the process of negotiating and signing contracts more efficient. This will have a real and positive impact on the authors represented by AAA members."
Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of The PA, said: “We have been delighted to work with the AAA to create a better process for contract negotiations to ensure that authors continue to get the best possible support from publishers. The simple measures identified will deliver tangible benefits for publishers and authors alike and demonstrate the value in such joint working.”
Publishers will commit to:
- Recognising the need for publishing contracts to be resolved expediently;
- Reviewing their end to end acquisition, deal note/offer, contract and payment processes;
- Providing agents, on request, with details of the members of their respective contracts teams;
- Improve communications with agents, keeping them informed as to what stage the contract is at.
Agents will commit to:
- Giving clear instructions to publishers as to who the contracting party to a contract should be;
- Notifying publishers’ contracts teams as soon as they become aware of any change in the status of the contracting party;
- Informing publishers at the earliest opportunity in a deal negotiation of any possible territory restrictions;
- Carrying out due diligence to establish the copyright owner if the author is deceased.
Download The TPC AAA Guidelines here.
Download press release here.
You may also be interested in downloading The PA Code of Practice on Author Contracts (1982, updated 1997 and 2010), here.