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Mind Your Book Business Using Contracts

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

Here at Path To Publishing, we recognize and honor writers, new authors, self-published authors, traditionally published authors, small and independent presses, aspiring authors and vet authors alike. Regardless of how far along we are in our literary careers and on our literary journey, we all started off the same: someone with an idea for a literary project that we just knew was going to make the New York Times Best-Sellers List or be chosen as Oprah's Book of the Month.

We soon learned that those odds were the same as a little kid playing driveway basketball, growing up, and getting drafted into the NBA. What we also learned, though, was that it wasn't money and it wasn't notoriety that kept us on the path of reaching our literary goals--no matter how far up the road they seemed. It was our love and passion for the written word, our support for the literary arts, our simple desire to share our content and messages with the world, or a love and passion for the results our written words would have on our readers' lives. It was our determination to get all of these creative thoughts and concepts out of our head, onto paper, and into the hands of those who we felt needed to be touched by the messages we used our books as the vehicle to deliver.

That passion and determination is why Path To Publishing is dedicated to helping you build your literary empire. Writing may be a passion, or even a ministry, but the actual task of book publishing and selling books is a business. We have to treat it as such. When doing business, contracts are almost always involved . . . not just receipt books and invoices, but actual contracts. Contracts for author appearances, speaking engagements, library and school appearances, panel discussions, literary events and book fairs should be a must if you are operating as an authorpreneur. If you want people to stop thinking this "book thing" is a hobby instead of the business that it is, then start treating it like an actual business.

No, you don't need some long, drawn-out contract that everyone has to hire a lawyer to decipher for every single endeavor. But whether your task is paid or unpaid, everyone involved needs to be on the same page. Allow that page to be a contract outlining what is required and expected of all parties involved. To receive resources and templates for almost every contract you will need to conduct your literary business the right way and the legal way, invest in the "Build Your Book Business" course and curriculum, which is taught live each year on Day 2 at Path To Publishing's annual "Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business" conference. Available in multiple formats at

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