Ebook Revolution

E-book Revolution Podcast Ep11 – Contracts & Agents For Traditional & Self-Published Authors


When you are trading in ideas, creativity and intellectual property, the legal waters can get murky, as many writers have had the misfortune to find out. Whether you are traditionally published, accepting the terms and conditions of self-publishing platforms like Amazon, Kobo or iBooks, or a self-published author about to sign your first traditional publishing deal, you need to have some understanding of what a fair contract looks like and what rights you should (or shouldn’t) be giving away. For writers who are looking to build online communities or use digital platforms to enhance their stories, basic knowledge of how to cover your arse from a sue-happy world is vital.

In this podcast we’re going to delve into the world of contracts and agenting, but I promise you, we avoid jargon, incomprehensive phrases and snore worthy discussions like the plague. I’m a simple girl, I prefer to learn from experts I can understand and actually stay awake with, and I’m sure you’d prefer that too! In this lively conversation with Alex Adsett about the business of writing – which writers tend to avoid only to have it come back to bite them in the arse when they realise their money is ‘missing’ – we talk about the things traditional, self-published and hybrid authors need to know about contracts, legalities and rights.

alex-adsettAlex Adsett is a consultant offering publishing contract advice to authors, publishers and booksellers, and has more recently expanded into the more traditional role of literary agent.  She has fifteen years experience working in the publishing and bookselling industry, as well as a solid background in legal research and contract drafting. She worked for three years in the Rights and Contracts Department of Penguin Books in Melbourne, before moving to the Contracts Department of John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd. Alex has managed Alex Adsett Publishing Services since 2008. She relies on her experience and passion for book publishing to offer sensible publishing business and contract advice. Separate from her freelance consultancy work, Alex has also taken on the role of literary agent.

In this podcast we discuss:

  • The benefits of having a publishing consultant
  • What self-published authors, moving into traditional publishing, should look out for in a contract
  • The importance of escape (reversion) clauses
  • Why you should make your publisher aware if you have previously self-published the book they are buying
  • Three things any author should keep in mind when signing a contract
  • What rights you should give a publisher
  • Why advances are not the be-all-and-end-all
  • Whether or not you should give a publisher world e-book rights or split the rights by country
  • Why authors should look at rising royalty rates for e-books
  • What the dangers of an ebook retailer contract are (eg. Amazon, Kobo, iBooks)
  • Why you should hold onto your film rights
  • Why exclusivity is not in the best interests of the author
  • How authors creating online communities and interactive projects can cover their arse
  • Why authors should be careful about using photos and videos on their blog
  • Whether agents are still relevant for today’s authors
  • Why you don’t need an agent to negotiate a fair contract
  • And the most successful way to approach an agent.


Hope you enjoy the show! And remember, I love hearing from Listeners and readers so please drop me a line at

emily (at) ebookrevolution (dot) com (dot) au


Emily’s non-fiction book E-Book Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to E-book success is now available at Kobo, Amazon and Bkclb (Australian e-book store). If you enjoy her tongue in cheek style you may also enjoy her comedy novel set in Facebook, The Grand Adventures of Madeline Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire also available from Kobo,Amazon and Bkclb. Thinking of doing your own crowd funding project? Hire Emily’s brain! Emily has successfully conducted her own crowd funding project and interviewed many other authors on the subject, she know exactly what is needed to get a project off the ground. Contact her about it on the above email address.



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