So I realized today that it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to talk about contracts without actually offering up my templates for contracts. Most of what I’ve learned has been through looking at other contracts, and sometimes the examples I’ve had… well, they were a lot worse than I thought they were. They were worse than the publisher thought they were, probably because they were all deriving from a crappy template.
So, I thought of open source software. Sharing information has always been the best way for me to learn more. Each person’s expertise and insight helps make the software better – and you’re free to do your own thing if you like. Sounds perfect.
But I didn’t know how to do it. The problem, I always thought, was that I couldn’t show the way my contracts updated and evolved as I learned more in a transparent way.
And then I realized that I wasn’t thinking enough like a geek. I forgot about git.
Git is version control. That means that changes to things (like, say, a text file) are saved publicly, and you can track changes over time. Take a look right here – the + means it was added (a – would mean something was deleted), and you can see the comment above as to why that commit (change) was done.
Of course, there are some disclaimers and such that I have to do:
- These are under the MIT license. One portion of that license expressly states “THE WORK IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE work OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE WORK.” So yeah, no guarantees. This could totally blow up in your (and, therefore, my) face.
- I’m not a lawyer. I don’t pretend to be. Don’t think I am. I could be horribly, horribly wrong.
- You can sue someone for breathing. No contract, no matter how well-written, will completely protect you from lawsuits. They sure help, though.
- Please note that these templates are NOT finished contracts, and
currently contain contradictory information and clauses to cover a
majority of instances. I will cut and modify clauses as applicable for each individual contract. For example, some books I’ve published pay a flat fee. Some are royalty-only. And some are a mix depending on the length of the work in question. So if you get a contract from me, it may have different elements than these templates. Read the damn contract carefully.
- Not all contracts from Alliteration Ink will
contain all of these clauses.
- These contracts do not supersede or preempt existing contracts.
- Feedback on these contracts is welcomed. The goal of sharing these
contracts is to improve the knowledge of authors, myself, and hold
publishers (including myself) to a higher standard. If you have a question about why something is written the way it is, please feel free to ask.
Or in other words, folks, I’m willing to be publicly told that I’m wrong (or that something I’m doing is wrong) so that we can all have a higher quality of contracts in our industry.
The contract templates are hosted on GitHub here: https://github.com/uriel1998/ainkcontracts