Writers Rights


alice-in-wonderland-29904_1280Having trouble understanding your publishing contract?

The NZSA Consultancy Service, sponsored by Creative New Zealand, is set up to give assistance to members who need help understanding and negotiating fair and reasonable contracts with publishers.

This service is only available to financial NZSA members.

We receive hundreds of queries each year covering a range of writing and publishing issues.  These include copyright protection, non-payment of royalties, non-publication of work accepted, subsidiary rights, royalty clauses in contracts, unauthorised use of copyright material and more recently the growing development of digital publishing.

We also advise members on steps they can take when a publisher does not honour the terms of a contract or someone has illegally copied your work.

The service is not a legal advisory, nor does it in any way substitute legal advice.  If you have any concerns about your rights we recommend you contact your lawyer.

As a first step we recommend that writers purchase a copy of The Business of Writing – our model standard contract.  This guide gives an explanation of each clause expected to be included in a standard publishing contract with negotiation suggestions including royalties, subsidiary rights, publication deadlines and digital rights.

If after reading the guide you are still unsure about a contract, we can assess it before you sign.  Send a copy of the contract together with a letter stating which clauses you wish to have assessed and your membership number to director@nzauthors.org.nz.  After reviewing your contract we will provide comments for your consideration.

If you suspect you are being exploited, contact us about protecting your author’s rights. This covers the unauthorised use of your copyright material, moral rights etc.

Comments and advice are intended to be used as a guide only and are not a substitute for professional advice.  They are based solely on our non-lawyers’ experience in the publishing industry.

The service is free to members only.   Not a member, join today.