What exactly is a book deal?

What exactly is a book deal? Is it signing a legal document? Are there different attitudes towards book deals in UK? A writer is paid upfront or after the book is sold? How much money usually a publisher offers for debut novels?

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4 Responses to “What exactly is a book deal?”

  1. Ashcan says:

    A book deal is a legally binding contract between you and an agent or Publisher, it needs to be okayed by a solicitor.

  2. Vince M says:

    The "book deal" is simply the arrangement between a publisher and the author for the purchased rights to print and market the book.

    I can’t address how it’s done in the UK, but, even describing the process in the US is difficult because it can take many forms. There are variations among different publishers, there are considerations of the author’s publishing history and, of course, many different ways a novice writer is paid, from a simple "per word" formula, so a very small up front stipend and, of course, in some cases, a percentage of "net" sales, meaning profit after publishing expenses.

  3. Sthomp says:

    It depends on the publisher/ strength of the book.

    Most publishers will offer a one off payment up front for a debut novel – this is based on projected sales of that book – you will be signed into a contract for 2 or more books, once you have sold enough books for the publisher to recoup the advance they paid you, you will then earn royalties on each book sold (usually 5p-10p per book)
    You can get a deal with only a first chapter and a synopsis if your good enough!

  4. Jude says:

    It varies a huge amount depending on whether you are an established author or a first timer. For example a well-known author would normally get paid an advance to write their book, because the publisher knows they will get good sales so can afford for the author to get paid in advance. Not so well-known writers and debut authors would normally get a percentage of the sales, that percentage depending on the deal they have managed to negotiate (or that their agent has negotiated for them). And yes it would be a legal document, it would be a contract.

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