Agreement (Submission/ Copyright Transfer)

Agreement (Submission/Copyright Transfer): What You Need to Know

In the world of publishing, a lot goes into getting your work out there. From finding the right publishers to navigating the submission process, it can be a lot to handle. One crucial part of this process is the agreement you sign when you submit your writing. This agreement typically involves the transfer of copyright from you, the author, to the publisher. But what does this mean, and what do you need to know before signing on the dotted line?

What is a Submission/Copyright Transfer Agreement?

A submission/copyright transfer agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms under which your work will be published. Typically, these agreements involve the transfer of certain rights from you, the author, to the publisher. This can include the right to reproduce, distribute, and sell your work. In exchange for these rights, you may receive compensation in the form of a royalty or flat fee.

It`s important to note that not all publishers will require you to sign a submission/copyright transfer agreement. Some may only require a license or permission to publish your work, while others may ask for a full transfer of copyright. Be sure to thoroughly read any agreements before signing to understand exactly what rights you`re giving away and what you`ll receive in return.

What Rights are Included in a Copyright Transfer?

When you sign a copyright transfer, you`re giving away certain rights to your work. The specific rights included in a transfer will vary depending on the publisher and the agreement you sign, but they may include:

– The right to reproduce your work

– The right to distribute your work

– The right to sell copies of your work

– The right to create derivative works (such as translations or adaptations)

– The right to publicly display or perform your work

– The right to license your work to others

It`s important to note that even if you sign a copyright transfer, you still have certain rights as the author. For example, you have the right to be credited as the author of your work, the right to claim authorship if your work is modified in certain ways, and the right to terminate the transfer under certain circumstances.

What Should You Look for in a Submission/Copyright Transfer Agreement?

When you`re presented with a submission/copyright transfer agreement, it`s important to carefully read through it and understand the terms. Here are a few things to look for:

– Rights being transferred: Make sure you understand exactly which rights you`re giving away and what the publisher will be able to do with your work.

– Compensation: Understand what compensation you`ll be receiving for the transfer of your rights. This may be a royalty rate or a flat fee.

– Termination: Look for any clauses that allow you to terminate the agreement under certain circumstances, such as if the publisher fails to publish your work within a certain timeframe.

– Reversion of rights: Some agreements may include a clause that allows you to regain certain rights after a certain amount of time has passed or if the work goes out of print.

– Publication details: Make sure you understand the timeline for publication, the format in which your work will be published, and any other details related to the publication process.

If you`re unsure about any part of a submission/copyright transfer agreement, it`s always best to seek legal advice before signing.


Signing a submission/copyright transfer agreement is an important step in the publishing process. Understanding the rights you`re giving away and the compensation you`ll receive is crucial to making an informed decision. By carefully reading through any agreements and seeking legal advice if necessary, you can ensure that your work is published under terms that are fair and beneficial to you as the author.