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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Perry, Esq.

Why Authors May Need a Literary Lawyer

If you're a first-time author (or even a seasoned veteran), you may not have thought much about the legal side of book publishing. But the truth is that you'll need someone in your corner to help protect your rights and assist in preventing any potential liability. Here are a few things literary lawyers can do for you:

Negotiate Contracts

Literary lawyers can help you negotiate contracts at all stages of the publishing process, such as:

  • Literary Agent Agreements

  • Editor Agreements (if you are hiring a freelance editor to edit your agreement)

  • Work-For-Hire Agreements (for example, hiring an artist to create your book cover)

  • Collaboration Agreements (an agreement between you and your co-author or between you and an illustrator, for example)

  • Ghostwriting Agreements (if you want to hire someone to write your book for you)

  • Book Publicity Agreements (review terms to see if you are getting a good deal)

  • Publishing agreements (negotiate terms of a typical book publishing agreement)

  • License Agreements (for example, if you want to license your paperback rights to a publisher or a publisher wants to include a chapter in your book in an anthology)

Counseling You on Whether to Self-Publish, Hybrid Publish, or Traditionally Publish

Literary lawyers can help you develop a creative strategy for your author needs. Every form of publishing has its pros and cons, so you want to be well informed before taking the plunge to get an agent or whether you want to do everything yourself.

Reviewing Your Manuscript for Legal Issues

Literary lawyers can help you navigate whether what you've written may violate laws, such as copyright, trademark, libel, and privacy.

Starting a Publishing Company

If you desire to start your own publishing house, there is a lot to think about. Of course you have to get business licenses and insurance and comply with any labor and employment laws. From a publishing perspective, you will need several agreements, such as a:

  • Publishing Agreement

  • Photograph/Image Release Template

  • Publicity Release Template

  • Work-for-Hire Agreement

You'll also need to register copyrights to your books.

A literary lawyer can help you with all of this and assist in navigating the administrative aspects.

For more information about how much it would cost to work with me, see


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