Literature is a driving economic powerhouse, employing millions annually. As each story line plays out, the reader is actually enjoying a collaboration of numerous people who have assisted the author in bringing his or her ideas to the readers’ hands. Globally, more than three million titles are published every year, opening up contract management opportunities for numerous roles, including cover design artists, editors, publishers, and attorneys.


When a reader immerses himself in literature, the unique characters, one-of-a-kind scenes, and descriptive imagery paint a picture, which helps the reader understand the novel. Seasoned authors know the first step is protecting his or her intellectual property rights. Even before an editor reviews the novel, the writer may copyright and protect the work. A legal advisor may assist in copyrighting the work, protecting trademarks, and drafting contracts for other professionals who may work on the project.


During a manuscript’s development, different types of editors may work on it. Developmental editors work with the author on defining the book’s structure, which may include developing the outline and coaching the author through the writing process. A copy editor will review the manuscript line by line to correct grammar, punctuation, flow, and sentence structure. Each editor engagement requires a legal agreement to ensure that the parties are clear on contracted roles and requirements.


Cover artwork is vital, because it’s the first image the potential reader sees while walking through the book store or scrolling through book selections online. The author will need permission from the artist to reprint his or her artwork for the novel.

Literature agreements are complex and may outline the rights of the parties, such as distribution rights, film rights, royalties, or the right to shop the story. For these reasons, contracts are valuable assets to help avoid misunderstandings and support a seamless collaboration between all parties in the book development process.