iPublish - Time Warner Contract
Note: The following is an excerpt from a warning that was
sent out from the SFWA!***
The Authors Guild has issued a warning regarding the
contracts offered by iPublish, a division of Time Warner's
publishing arm. iPublish is a creator of e-books, and has
tilted its advertising toward aspiring, unpublished
writers. The terms of its contract, however, seem
designed to exploit those aspirants' inexperience.
Troublesome elements of its contract include:
1. The claim that submission of a manuscript constitutes
agreement to all terms of the standard contract in
2. No advance paid, and royalties pegged at 25% of net
sales (an amount considered quite low for e-books) in
virtually all cases.
3. The claim of exclusive rights to all means of
delivering digital content for the work, including audio
books, print-on-demand, and any digital media invented in
4. An exclusive option on a print version of the book,
with advance capped at $5000 and the right to match any
other publisher's offer, even after in-house negotiations
5. First claim on the author's next work, including in
print form even if the first work never came out on paper,
with advance capped at the amount of royalties of the
first e-book, or $5000 for a paper release.
6. Time Warner's right to settle any legal claims (such
as libel) brought against the work, and to bill the
author for the cost of settlement plus legal fees.
Anyone remotely interested in dealing with iPublish is
strongly urged to study the entirety of the contract (available
at iPublish's website) before submitting anything. Of
course, we professionals are generally on guard against
such contracts: it is unpublished hopefuls at greatest
risk, and a few cautionary words to one's writing-minded
friends may be in order.
Of course, this alone was enough to pique my curiousity.
A fellow Shark-hunter, Natalie, stumbled across the news
that publishing company, LittleBrown, had rejected one
This news in itself is not amazing, I know. However,
their rejection letter included a referral to iPublish-Time
Warner. A simple "search" on a popular search
engine shows us that LittleBrown's site is a division of
the publishing giant Time Warner.
This smells a little fishy to this writer. Please be wary
where you send your manuscripts, and be sure to read all
terms, conditions and contracts VERY carefully.
As always, this article will be updated as soon as we
have more information.
Money Flows TO the Author - Never the Other Way
Copyright 2001 Lee Masterson.