No matter what level you’re at in the industry, contracts are vital and important. Whether it’s between you and a publisher or you and an editor, or you and a co-collaborator, making sure that what you’re all doing is laid on paper is very important.
Even if you’re working with a friend, it’s important to make sure that what you’re doing together is clear and concise, with everyone’s roles outlined.
The idea of putting together a contract can be incredibly daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Having everything on a piece of paper that you both sign can be your contract that will protect you (ie. Creator 1 is responsible for the art. Creator 2 is responsible for scripts. Both Creators will submit work on time as per an agreed upon schedule. All royalties will be split 50/50 and both will maintain co-ownership of the book.) – BUT if you want a slightly fancier contract to help keep your team safe, you can use this handy dandy Collaboration Agreement:
This agreement is just a template and it can be adjusted to fit your needs, based on the number of creators on your project, what you want to hash out, and more.
Here’s a tip: a friend of mine, Tory Woollcott, pointed out that a contract doesn’t have to be full of legal mumbo jumbo. If a publisher or collaborator sends you a contract that you don’t understand, break it down into simple terms. Write out the contract in ways that you understand with all the terms and ask the publisher/editor/collaborator if what you’ve written encapsulates everything within the jargonese of the more complex contract. If they say yes, ask if it’s okay if they sign your version of the contract so you have something that’s far easier to digest
If you have any questions, let us know! Reach out in the comments section below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.