Traps for the Unwary

Don’t Sign That Book Contract

The Authors Guild recently ran this ad — Don’t Sign that Book Contract — to warn potential authors of the traps that might lurk behind the fine print in publication agreements. The graphic of a tiny author, pen in hand, standing in the middle of a bear trap, makes their point vividly.

Scholarly authors face similar traps today; with all kinds of new methods for distributing and using scholarly work available to them, especially on the Internet, it is more important then ever to read publication agreements carefully and to negotiate to reserve appropriate rights when necessary. Just as the Authors Guild offers assistance to its members, the Scholarly Communications Office is happy to help faculty and student authors at Duke understand their copyrights and manage those rights as they navigate the publication process. Let us help you stay out of the trap!