Because Dorpie Books is creating a new publishing model, we are providing details regarding the basic relationship between the author and Dorpie Books with respect to book publishing and the management of adjacent rights such as licensing for foreign publication, paperback, ebook and audiobook publication, or adaptation for television or film.
It is important the author understand every detail of these terms before making a decision about the right publishing path. We’ve endeavored to make the contract concise and straightforward in the hope that our authors will be able to understand it without the aid of a lawyer though we do recommend consulting an attorney before signing a contract. While we will consider modifications, our standard terms are below:
Standard Publishing Contract
Author grants Dorpie Books the right to publish. The author grants Dorpie Books the exclusive, irrevocable, and transferable right to print, publish, and sell the author’s work worldwide, in both electronic and print format. Dorpie Books will own both the hardcover and paperback rights. By “print, publish, and sell,” Publisher means to create electronic and physical copies, and to distribute, directly or in collaboration with third parties, on either a wholesale or retail basis. If Dorpie Books elects to transfer its rights under this agreement, the transferee will be similarly bound by the terms of this agreement.
Author writes; Dorpie Books publishes. Author agrees to collaborate with Publisher's editorial team and provide Publisher with a finished manuscript. Dorpie Books will print, publish, and sell author’s book. The number of books printed will correlate with the number of pre-orders sold.
Dorpie Books term of exclusivity. After a period of ten years from the date of initial publication, Dorpie Books' exclusive right to print, publish and sell author’s book work worldwide shall become a non-exclusive right.
Throughout this agreement, the terms "book" and "work" are used interchangeably. By "book" or "work" Publisher means the literary product which Author is seeking to publish. It also includes any book or work bearing a reasonable resemblance to the literary product contemplated by Author's pre-order campaign. It does not include any sequels.
Throughout this agreement, you will see the terms "author" and "you" used interchangeably. By “you" or "author" Publisher means the person who has written the “book” or “work.”
Throughout this agreement, you will see the terms "Publisher" and "Dorpie Books" used interchangeably to refer to the publisher with whom the author has entered into a publishing agreement.
This contract binds you (the author) and Dorpie Books.
Author may not assign Author’s responsibilities to a third party except as agreed to in writing by Dorpie Books. This contract binds Author successors-in-interest. This contract also binds Author's assignees.
This contract binds Dorpie Books, but it does not bind third parties with whom Dorpie Books partners, such as editors, designers, distributors, or retailers.
Dorpie Books' obligations and responsibilities related to printing, publishing, and selling Author's book:
Editorial and Design. Dorpie Books works with industry-leading editorial and book-design professionals, both employed at Dorpie Books and independently contracted. Publisher's editorial and creative teams will edit and design the book. Final decisions regarding design, editorial changes, branding, or content shall be made by Dorpie Books.
Print. Dorpie Books agrees to print an initial run of units equal to the number of pre-orders and orders received prior to the date of that run. At Publisher's discretion, Publisher may fund a larger run or subsequent runs.
Digital. Dorpie Books may create a digital copy of Author's book suitable for distribution in “mobi” (Amazon) and “epub” (Apple, everyone else) formats. As new formats arise and gain use, Publisher may, at Publisher's discretion, create digital copies in other formats.
Distribution. Dorpie Books agrees to distribute Author's book. Publisher distributes books in both digital and print format. Publisher distributes in digital format to major online vendors, using both direct and third-party digital distribution. Publisher distributes in print format to bookstores, both directly, in the case of bulk preorders, and indirectly, through Publisher's strategic partners. Publisher sells and distributes books to both online and brick-and-mortar retailers and wholesalers. Publisher reserves the right to distribute directly via DorpieBooks.com. Importantly, like any publisher, Dorpie Books cannot guarantee print-unit purchase by online booksellers, or purchase and in-store placement by brick-and-mortar booksellers. Publisher can guarantee only Publisher's good faith, best efforts in cooperation with Publisher's distribution partners.
Marketing. The goal of Dorpie Books' marketing efforts, like those of other publishers, is to increase awareness of Author's book. All marketing strategy is devised and executed at Dorpie Books' discretion. To the extent made possible by specifically designated funds raised from the crowd, this marketing includes both offline and online advertisements, preferred in-store shelf space, and reviews.
Copyright. Dorpie Books will register the copyright on Author's behalf and shall place copyright notice in Author's name on all copies of the work. Where Publisher deems it feasible and desirable, at Publisher's discretion, Publisher will register the copyright in foreign jurisdictions. In order to protect this copyright, and at Publisher's discretion, Dorpie Books may use various forms of digital-rights-management technologies, both proprietary to Dorpie Books and those implemented by third-party distributors. Publisher additionally agrees to take action against those allegedly infringing that copyright where Publisher deems it feasible and desirable. Any such legal action is on behalf of Dorpie Books and at our discretion.
Author acknowledges that Publisher does not owe Author a legal or business duty to protect Author's copyright by way of digital-rights-management technology or legal action in the case of alleged infringement. Author retains the separate ability to file suit in the case of alleged infringement.
Financial reports. Dorpie Books will furnish Author with financial reports on a quarterly basis. These financial reports will detail the quantity and nature of sales, including those in foreign jurisdictions as they become available. Publisher will also furnish Author with payments on a quarterly basis. Payments will be made to United States bank accounts via ACH transfer. Finally, Publisher will furnish Author with tax documents that detail Author's earnings on an annual basis. Author has the right to audit these reports and inspect relevant records on an annual basis at Author's own expense.
The Author’s obligations and responsibilities:
Provision of manuscript. Author agrees to collaborate with Dorpie Books' editorial team to create a finished manuscript. The deadline for delivery of the manuscript will be agreed to in writing between Author and Dorpie Books. Author will also furnish, at Author's own expense, any permissions necessary for the inclusion of any copyrighted or proprietary materials.
Non-infringement and indemnification. Author warrants and represent that Author's work is Author's own, that it does not infringe the intellectual-property or other rights of another, that it is not defamatory, and that Author otherwise owns or has permission to use all rights in the work, and that Author is not restricted from granting Dorpie Books the right to print, publish, or sell Author's work. Author indemnifies Dorpie Books for any action related to such infringement, defamation, or other violation. This indemnification shall survive the termination of this agreement.
No adverse activities. Author agrees to neither dispose of any rights, nor publish or cause to be published any version or derivation of the work, which would materially and adversely impair the commercial value of Author's work.
Author grants Publisher the right to create and extend Author's intellectual property. While Author retains ownership of the copyright to Author's work, Author grants Dorpie Books the right to register any copyright related to Author's work. Author also grants Publisher the right to extend this copyright(s), as allowed by law, in any jurisdiction.
Promotional rights. Author grants Dorpie Books the right to promote Author's book, inclusive of creation of accounts and webpages, and like activities. Author grant Publisher the right to use Author's name, likeness, and biographical information for the promotion and advertising of both Author's book and Dorpie Books.
Price. Dorpie Books will determine the wholesale and retail price, or prices, at which Publisher will sell Author's book.
Advance (Percentage of pre-order sales). Dorpie Books authors will receive an advance of 10% to 50% of pre-order net sales (sale price - discounts) on sales made during the pre-order period designated in the contract.
The following chart outlines the sliding scale percentages:
0 - 1000
1001 - 2000
2001 - 3000
3001 - 4000
|4001 - 5000
Royalties on Post Pre-order Sales. Once the pre-order sales period ends, authors receive 50% of net receipts (gross revenue minus the cost of production and distribution).
Print Sold through Dorpie Books
Print Sold through Wholesale
Retailers buy at about %50 discount. Net receipts are typically 55% - 60% of gross revenue.
The Dorpie Books publishing contract is structured as a “profit share,” which is to say that Publisher and Author split “what is left over” after Publisher deducts certain costs. Those costs vary based on format (for hard-copy units Publisher deducts print costs) and whether Publisher sell the book directly to consumer (Publisher deducts shipping costs) or on a wholesale basis to another retailer (Publisher deducts a third-party distributor fee). Here are a list of those costs, generally, based on format and sales channel. Author's royalty statement will delineate these costs on a per-sale basis. Note: The following are the only categories that may be deducted to calculate the "net" costs: print costs, packaging & shipping, distribution, payment processing.
Pre-orders are a substantial part of Publisher's business model in that they serve as a way to pay authors a lump sum amount akin to the traditional advance trade publishers pay. As a consequence, Publisher will have two promotion launch periods: the pre-order launch and the pub date launch.
Publisher reserves the right to move the distribution fee up or down as Publisher periodically renegotiate with Publisher’s distributors and payment providers. All of these costs will be clearly delineated in Author's royalty statements, which will be paid to Author on a quarterly basis.
Credits. Any credits will be deducted prior to the split between Author and Dorpie Books.
Reserve for returns. When books are sold to most bookstores, they are purchased on a returnable basis. That is, if the book does not sell, they may return them to Publisher and receive a refund. Publisher reserves the right to withhold 20% of profits as a reserve for returnables. These funds will be credited back to Author over the next two quarters should returnables fall below the reserve.
Pre-order (Advance) Payment Schedule:
The author’s advance (percentage of pre-order sales) will be held in escrow and paid out as follows:
10% - released at end of Campaign
30% - released when completed final manuscript accepted by publisher
30% - released on publication date
30% - released when tour ends* **
* Funds held until all speaking obligations are met and Publisher knows sales associated with speaking obligations have been fulfilled
** Author must cover missed engagements that result in book sale refunds
Royalties (Post Pre-order Period)
Quarterly payment schedule. The first payment will be made 30 days after the last day of the pre-order promotion period, which typically runs 21 days. Thereafter, payments will be made quarterly on the first business days of January, April, July, and October.
Publisher can sell Author's book abroad, and Publisher can sell it in foreign languages.
Dorpie Books' right to print, publish, and sell Author's book extends to foreign countries and foreign languages. Like any publisher, Dorpie Books may choose either to sell the book ourselves or to license the right to sell the book to another publisher. We may also choose to combine these two approaches, e.g. by selling the book ourselves in electronic copy but simultaneously licensing print sales to a third-party publisher. In the event that Dorpie Books engages a third-party publisher abroad, the licensing agreement entered into Dorpie Books and the third-party publisher will provide proper attribution to the author, and shall not transfer or assign ownership in the work to that publisher.
Publisher exercises right to sell Author's book in a foreign country or foreign language at Publisher's discretion. In the case that Publisher exercises this right, Dorpie Books will pay Author 70% of all revenues received pursuant to the licensing agreement negotiated between Dorpie Books and the publisher or the foreign-country or foreign-language publisher.
Publisher can represent Author in the negotiation of adjacent rights.
Serial rights. Dorpie Books may negotiate “serial rights” on Author's behalf. Serial rights involve the licensing of a chapter, or adaption of a series of chapters, into a print or online periodical. Licensing of these rights serves a dual purpose, both creating revenue for Author and Dorpie Books, and increasing awareness of Author's work. Revenue from the sale of serial rights will be split on a seventy-thirty basis between Author and Dorpie Books (Author keeps 70%, Publisher keeps 30%).
Manager for licensing of derivative works. Dorpie Books reserves the right to serve as the exclusive manager for the licensing of Author's copyright for the purpose of any derivative work, such as a musical, film, television series, or commercial products (e.g., toys, clothes). Dorpie Books is not permitted to create revisions or updates of Author's work without Author's approval and Author has ultimate say on whether to accept a deal negotiated by Dorpie Books. Dorpie Books will pay Author 70% of any licensing fees such as option or exercise revenues.
Third Party Transfer Deal. During the ten-year period in which Dorpie Books holds the rights to Author's work, Dorpie may elect to enter into an agreement with third party publisher and grant them the right to publish or republish Author's book. Any advance negotiated with a third party would be split 70% to 30% between the author (70%) and Dorpie Books (30%).
No oral modification. This agreement may only be modified by written agreement between Author and Dorpie Books.
Fully integrated. This agreement constitutes the only agreement between Author and Dorpie Books. It supersedes any previous agreement.
Severability. In the event that any part of this agreement is invalidated, all remaining portions shall remain in force.
Force Majeure. Dorpie Books shall not be deemed in breach of this agreement where failure to perform is caused by restrictions of governmental agencies, labor disputes, or any other reason beyond Publisher's control. In the event of delay from any such cause, Dorpie Books' obligation shall be postponed for a period of time reasonably related to such cause.
Choice of law and venue, agreement to arbitration. Author agrees to arbitrate any dispute in Washington, D.C. under District of Columbia law. Author agrees to the terms relevantly included, and herein incorporated, in Dorpie Books' terms of service, available (here). If there is a conflict between this contract and these terms of service, this contract controls.
No waiver. Failure to exercise any right under this agreement shall not be deemed waiver. Waiver of such a right on one occasion shall not constitute waiver on any subsequent occasion.
Termination. Publisher reserves the right to terminate this contract, at Publisher's discretion. Upon such termination, any rights granted to Dorpie Books shall revert to Author, or Author's heirs and assigns. All payment terms will survive termination of this contract. Any payment received by Dorpie Books for copies of the work after termination will be split in the same way as payments during the term of this agreement. The return reserve balance, if any, will be paid upon termination.