AWP Panel: Wait! Wait! Don’t Sign That: A Writer’s Guide to Book Contract Basics
Publishing agreements are some of the most important documents authors ever encounter, but for many writers, book contracts remain shrouded in mystery. In this panel, Authors Guild Executive Director Mary Rasenberger will moderate a discussion among publishing industry attorneys, offering an author-friendly introduction to the various standard book contracts. Learn what every book agreement should contain, how best to approach a contract negotiation, and what provisions to avoid or add. The panel will also address agency agreements, as well as some things to bear in mind when considering self- and hybrid publishing.
Michelle Brower represents the New York Times bestselling novelist and poet Erika L. Sánchez, the New York Times bestselling writer Tara Conklin; bestselling historical fiction author Hazel Gaynor among others. Her authors have been honored as finalists for the National Book Award, PEN/Faulkner Prize, PEN/ Hemingway, and PEN/ Open Book as well as selected for B&N Discover New Writers, Target Book Club, Buzzfeed Book Club, and B&N Book Club. After graduating from New York University with a MA degree in literature, Brower began her career in agenting at Wendy Sherman Associates. Before joining Aevitas, she was a Senior Vice President at Folio Literary Management.
Umair Kazi is a Staff Attorney at the Authors Guild, a writer, and a translator. He received his JD from University of Iowa College of Law and his MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University School of the Arts.
Ellis B. Levine, a partner of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard, served as Vice President, Secretary, General Counsel and a member of the Board of Directors of Random House, Inc. from 1989 until 1998. He primarily represents book and audio publishers, authors and literary agents.
Mary Rasenberger (moderator) is the Executive Director of the Authors Guild. Prior to joining the Guild, Mary practiced law for over 25 years, specializing in media and copyright law, and served as senior policy advisor for the U.S. Copyright Office and program manager at the Library of Congress.