Buying, Protecting, Selling

Petra Christine Hardt


Petra Christine Hardt

Distributed for Seagull Books

In collaboration with Nora Mercurio, Christoph Hassenzahl, Janika Rüter and Manuel Quirin, and Translated by Jeremy Gaines
128 pages | 4 1/4 x 7 | © 2011
Paper $19.00 ISBN: 9780857420039 Published October 2011 World sales rights except India

These essays by Petra Christine Hardt, head of the rights department at esteemed German publisher Suhrkamp Verlag, offer unique and informed insight into day-to-day practices in the rights and permissions departments of publishing houses. Hardt also addresses key underlying and practical issues, such as the protection of intellectual property, the length of copyright, contract duration, and the appropriate royalty rates for authors.


Rights is an essential plea for contractual values that foster a long-term relationship between an author and his or her publisher. Hardt is focused on balancing the needs of the author with the economic fundamentals of the publishing industry. Her essays include discourses on acquiring, securing, and distributing the rights to a work, the challenges posed by literary agencies, and the growing significance of the Internet as a global marketplace for copyrighted works. Critical examination of these issues is accompanied by realistic proposals for their solution, making this book the perfect reference not only for publishers but also for editors and authors.


1. Buying Rights
Direct domestic authors’ contract
Contract subject matter and contract partners
Print run, retail price, availability and the possibility of an author withdrawing
Royalties and advance payments
Subsidiary rights
Electronic rights
The option clause
Termination of the author’s contract
Contracts with foreign authors via an agent or a foreign publishing house
2. Protecting Rights
The dialogue with the author
Maintenance of the work following the author’s death
3. Selling Rights
Selling translation rights
Market and sector knowledge
Use of print subsidiary rights in the domestic market
Paperback editions
Book club editions
Special editions
Own print versus licensed edition
4. Book Publishing in the Digital Age
Open access
New and established duties
5. Appendices
Appendix A: A Sample Royalty Scale
Appendix B : A Few Sample Contacts
Appendix C : Some Useful Websites
Appendix D : Suggested Reading
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://press.uchicago.edu
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