The author contract is a legal agreement between the author and the publisher. We went through the Manchester University Press contract with Tony Mason clause by clause and deciphered the meaning of each. This is something I have not previously seen before so this was an interesting task concerning more roles regarding CEs.
Authors can often call up points in a contract they may not be happy with or are unsure what they mean and it is our job to ensure the contract is complied with and to solve any problems effectively and as professionally as possible.
One of the things I noted was that the contract does not usually have a publishing date. This is because there can be delays or problems on the way that may be unexpected so usually, there is no point in applying one. Although, obviously, the publishing house will do its best to publish the work as soon as it can be up to publishing standard.
In some cases, a particular book may need to be published in time for calendar dates such as the new academic term or Christmas.
Avoiding Conflicts – Elsevier
Author-publisher Relationships – The Bookseller
Tips – She Writes
Contracts Should Not Be Forever – The Authors Guild