Author-Agent Agreement

An Author-Agent Agreement is a contract between a writer and an agent that ensures that both parties are paid and protected against fraud.

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If you're an author looking to get published, one of the first research items is to find a literary agent. An agent is a person who connects you with the right publishing houses and promotes your work.

If you've found an agency and an agent you want to work with, you'll need to enter into an Author-Agent Agreement to define your working relationship.

What Is an Author-Agent Agreement?

If you're an author, having a literary agent may be your ticket to the big time. Also, the importance of having an Author-Agent Agreement cannot be overstated. That is also true if you are an agent who has discovered an author with whom you want to work.

The Author-Agent Agreement ensures that the agent will work to get you a publishing deal. Having a literary agent will give the author all the time they need to dedicate to their work.

Other Names for Author-Agent Agreement

Depending on your state, an Author-Agent Agreement may also be known as:

  • Author-Agent Contract
  • Literary Agency Agreement
  • Literary agent Contract
  • Writer-Agent Contract

Who Needs an Author-Agent Agreement?

Without a doubt, the Author-Agent Agreement is necessary and beneficial to both the author and the agent. It exists to define the rights of both parties and protect them against fraud or misuse. The terms and provisions in the agreement are negotiated.

Why Use 360 Legal Forms for Your Author-Agent Agreement

Customized for you, by you

Create your own documents by answering our easy-to-understand questionnaires to get exactly what you need out of your Author-Agent Agreement.

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Laws vary by location. Each document on 360 Legal Forms is customized for your state.

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All you have to do is fill out a simple questionnaire, print, and sign. No printer? No worries. You and other parties can even sign online.

How to Create an Author-Agent Agreement with 360 Legal Forms

You don't have to consult an attorney to draft an Author-Agent Agreement unless you choose to. A reliable template may be all you need to whip one up.

Let 360 Legal Forms help with our extensive library of attorney-vetted legal forms. The process is fast and easy. All you have to do is fill out our easy-to-understand questionnaire. Once complete, simply download your form as a PDF or Word document from your secure online account.

What Information Will I Need to Create My Author-Agent Agreement?

To create your document, please provide:

  • Author Information: The legal name, current address, and contact information of the author.
  • Agent Information: The legal name, address, and contact information of the agent or agency.
  • Effective date: The date when the contract becomes valid.
  • Jurisdiction: The state where the contract is to be signed and whose laws control the agreement.
  • Term: The duration of the deal.
  • Compensation: Specify how the agent is to be compensated.
  • Scope of Representation: Specify whether the agent will represent all of the author's works or specific titles.
  • Agent's Authority: Specify the actions and decisions the agent can make on behalf of the author.
  • Dispute Resolution Method: In a dispute, specify the preferred resolution method to be attempted first, such as arbitration before litigation.
  • Signatures: Both the author and the agent are to sign the agreement.

Author-Agent Agreement Terms

  • Author: The creator of a book, article, document, or another piece of writing
  • Agent: A person who represents an author and their work
  • AAR: The Association of Authors' Representatives, a non-profit organization
  • Warranties: Guarantee in a contract that both parties are telling the truth
  • Indemnities: Compensation from one party to another if there are damages
  • Assignability: The ability to transfer rights from one person to another
  • Exclusivity: A clause in the agreement where the author is represented by the agent specified in the contract only
  • Manuscript: A copy of an author's work before publication

Author-Agent Agreement Signing Requirements

To be legally enforceable, both the author and agent have to sign the agreement. Notarization is not required, though you can get it notarized to vouchsafe the signatures.

What to Do with Your Author-Agent Agreement

It is customary for the author and literary agent to both receive a physical copy of the document. A copy of the agreement can also be filed with the agency's internal documentation, if applicable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Literary agents only work with books and their authors. On the other hand, dramatic agents only work with stage plays, television material, musicals, and screenplays. A writer of screenplays or television series pilots might use the services of a dramatic agent. That is especially the case if the writer has had prior success and is now looking for representation.

Finding the right agent to represent you as an author can be challenging. Asking questions regarding the agent’s experience in business is always a good idea. Also, find out how much they know about foreign rights if you may want to translate your work and sell it in other countries. Finally, you may want to inquire about the agent’s direct involvement with your work. Will the agent handle all the details personally or outsource?

This will depend on the provisions in the agreement. If there is a breach of contract, you might have to go to arbitration or another resolution method before you can legally exit the agreement.
You may ask for a short-term agreement at first. You can also specify in the contract that both parties can terminate the contract if certain conditions are fulfilled.

The standard agent commission fee might vary drastically depending on the agency. However, the industry standard is 15% of all earnings represented. This fee can climb up to 20% or 25% if the agent has a co-agent in other areas, such as movie rights.

The short answer to this question is no. You don’t need a literary agent to publish your work, especially if you want to self-publish digitally. However, if you want to be published by a publishing house in the traditional sense, you will have to hire an agent to represent your work.

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Applicable to all 50 states
Applicable to all 50 states

Our documents are vetted by lawyers and are applicable to all 50 states.