A publishing contract is generally a contract between a publisher and an author; a collaboration seems to add an additional party to the agreement. I would like to know what kind of complications this introduces to the contract.

Is there anything I should be wary of when negotiating such a contract? Does collaboration add new elements to a contract I may be unfamiliar with from "regular" contracts?

2 Answers 2


I recently co-wrote a book that will be published in May.

It's a lot simpler than you think. The payment section of the clause says what the split is. In most cases I suppose that's 50-50 though obviously it could be anything.

The other business issues in the collaboration are another matter. If you and your coauthor are splitting the money 50-50 and one author finds he is doing 80% of the work... that can cause tension. I suppose the authors can go back to the publisher and change the financial split, though I don't have experience doing that. (I doubt it would upset the publisher, since it doesn't change how much they lay out, just the payment math.)


Have a look at my answer to a similar question.

In short, your agreement with your co-author (and other possible collaborators) is a separate contract that should be put in place before you begin the creation of the work.

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