Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
The contract stage has been different for each of the two multi-author projects I’ve worked on recently.
For A Log Cabin Christmas Collection each agent was responsible for negotiating his or her client’s contract, and all of the contracts were independent of each other.
The 7 Hours project also had a contract for each author, but they were negotiated together so that all of them would be the same. This was quite the process. I served as lead agent so I was the only agent communicating directly with the publisher. It was my job to send the draft contract to all of the agents to get feedback and requested changes. I then compiled the changes into one draft with “track changes” and sent it to the agents for approval before I sent it to the publisher. I repeated this process until we had a final contract, and then each agent sent a finalized contract to his or her client to sign and send in to the publisher.
It was interesting to me to see how the agents worked differently from each other. Some were meticulous and sent contracts with comments and track changes back to me to integrate into the final. Other agents sent the contract to their clients for approval and may or may not have looked at it. Still other agents wrote back and said the contract was fine as it was; I don’t know if they read it. At Books & Such, we read every draft of the contract so we can thoroughly protect our clients and their work and make sure the publisher sent the very latest version to be signed.
I’ve also heard of multi-author projects where each author signs the same contract. I just haven’t worked on a contract like that yet.
If you worked on a multi-author project, how was your contract done? What is your favorite published multi-author book?