Contracts are difficult for most people to decipher without the assistance of attorney, and contracts related to publishing or optioning a book are no different. Per attorney Greg Victoroff, when a party is interested in either publishing your book or optioning your book, there will be a contract involved. An option is when a party wants to exploit your book in a different medium such as a film or television series. They acquire the rights from you for a set time to try and get the content developed for the screen. The typical option contract lasts 6, 12, or 18 months and can be extended. There may be an offer for money up front, and then set payment amounts if the content is ultimately developed. He cautions authors not to sign option contracts that offer nothing upfront. You should negotiate an amount that will at least pay any legal bills incurred as a part of having the contract reviewed by a professional. You also don't want your book to be tied up with someone who isn't serious about getting it developed.
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