Preview Our Author Contract


You are welcome to review it, ask questions about it, wish it was yours, and so on. In fact, the only thing you cannot do is reproduce it. It’s copyrighted, a word that will mean a lot more to you when your book comes out.

Please note the straightforward language and easy-to-understand terms we use, which are by all accounts quite fair to us and to you, the author.  As the author of 31 books under 9 pseudonyms, senior agent Wendy Keller is a vocal advocate for author’s rights. But don’t take our word for it. Review the contract below.

NOTE TO AUTHORS: Don’t sign an unfair contract, or anything you don’t understand, no matter who offers it to you or how eager you are to get an agent.

sometimes even if it has already been signed!
Call for help: (800) 278-8706 ext. 700
or learn about our Contract Consulting.


This Representation Agreement (the “Agreement”) is made and entered into as of the date signed below between Keller Media, Inc., a California corporation (“Agency”) and [AUTHOR NAME] (“Author”) on the following terms and conditions.

1.       AGENCY:  Author appoints Agency as Author’s sole and exclusive Agency to advise, arrange and negotiate for the publication, sale, license or any other disposition in any language, media, form or format the nonfiction content, commencing with the project currently titled, “[BOOK TITLE]” (the “Work”).

2.       PERFORMANCE:  Agency will endeavor in good faith to secure the best possible offers for the Work in a professional and efficient manner and, absent other agreements made hereafter, bear all related costs of the representation.  Agency has the right to choose the agent in its employ to aid in placement, and may work with independent sub-agents in specific rights categories at its discretion.  Agency will always offer its best advice and suggestions for the improvement, marketing and disposition of the Work.  Author agrees to carefully consider in good faith all advice given.  Author agrees that if a potential buyer approaches Author directly for Author’s literary Work or writing services, any such potential buyer will be referred to Agency for negotiation.

If Author has or does create additional nonfiction works prior to the sale of the Work and during the term of this Agreement (including as renewed), Author shall offer such to the Agency for review and possible representation; however, Agency is not obliged to accept any such additional works for representation.   If Agency declines such further representation within 30 days of notification of any such additional work, Author is free to take any such works elsewhere without obligation to Agency.  Any such new work on which Agent agrees to assume representation shall be subject to the terms of this Agreement.

Upon the sale of the Work or any other work for which representation is assumed hereunder, Author agrees to give Agency first right of refusal on Author’s next non-fiction work.

If either party approaches the other with an idea for a work other than the Work, but the parties do not agree to or do not proceed diligently and satisfactorily to Agency to jointly develop the idea, it shall belong to the party first presenting it and such party is free to develop the idea as he/she/it sees fit.  If Agency presents the idea to Author, even though Author may prepare a written manifestation of the idea or otherwise have spent time to develop the idea, it belongs to Agency if the parties do not agree to jointly develop the idea.   The parties agree that the sharing of any such ideas shall be confidential and protected from disclosure to third parties without the consent of the originator of the idea.

3.       COMPENSATION:  Author agrees to pay Agency and Agency has the right to deduct as commission the following listed percentages of all monies received related in any way to the Work, with the sole exception of fees for speaking engagements in which Agency did not participate in booking:

(a)        Fifteen percent (15%) of all income earned from the domestic sale or placement of the Work in any form or format from rights granted to a publisher;

(b)        Twenty percent (20%) of all income earned from any foreign, electronic, digital, sponsorship, special sales, merchandise, dramatic, film, performance or other ancillary or secondary right related to the Work. This covers the expense in shipping and selling books overseas, as well as travel costs typically incurred in the placement of secondary rights. An additional five percent (5%) of gross income may be required by a sub-agent if one is used; and

(c)       Thirty percent (30%) of gross monies derived from Agency’s placement of Author as a paid speaker (i.e, exclusive of Author’s travel costs and other reimbursements for Author’s direct expenses.)

Agency is entitled to the commission percentages set forth in paragraphs 3(a) and 3(b) for the legal life of the Work on all agreements substantially pertaining to or made possible by the Work, whether they arise from an agreement initiated or negotiated by Agency or anyone else, including Author.

4.       TERM OF AGENCY:  While book proposals represented by this Agency often sell within 90 days of presentation to publishing houses, the timing of the sale depends on a variety of factors, including, without limitation, how long it takes the Author to prepare the best possible proposal; the optimal season of presentation of the Work for sale; the subject matter; the quantity of similar content being proposed concurrently by third parties; and world events.  Agency agrees to work on Author’s behalf as long as it believes a sale is possible, and notify Author in writing if no sale seems likely; Author agrees to allow Agency such reasonable time to sell the Work.  If Agency believes that it is not likely to make a sale or if Author fails to meet Author’s agreed time frame for completion of the Work or parts thereof or otherwise creates an unsatisfactory working relationship, Agency may terminate this Agreement upon written notice to Author at the address set forth below for Author and Author shall be free to sell or license the Work directly or through others without obligation to Agency.

If the Agency successfully places any right to the Work while this Agreement is in effect, Agency will be the “Agency of Record” on the contract with the publisher or other third party and is thus entitled to compensation as outlined in 3 above and to participate in the placement of all secondary rights extant within the Work not granted to the publisher or first licensor.

If within three (3) months of cessation of this Agreement a publisher to whom the Work had been submitted by the Agency notifies Author or Agency that it desires to contract publication of the Work, this Agreement shall be reactivated and Agency shall be entitled to all rights provided hereunder, including, without limitation, the right to receive commissions.

5.       RECEIPT AND DISBURSAL OF FUNDS:  All third parties acquiring rights to the Work or any other work covered by the terms of this Agreement in any form or format shall be directed and authorized by Author to remit Author’s advance or upfront lump sum payments to Agency.  Receipt of all such payments by Agency shall be deemed receipt by Author.  All such funds are placed in an Author’s Trust account held by the Agency at Chase Bank. Within ten (10) business days after any such monies have been received by Agency, it shall remit the funds to Author less Agency’s then unpaid and owing commissions.  Author agrees that any Author-Licensor or Author-Publisher contract for the Work or any other work covered by this Agreement shall incorporate the obligation that such advance or upfront payments be made directly to Agency; thereafter whenever possible, licensors shall be instructed to send Agency’s portion hereunder of any royalty and other payments due Author paid directly to Agency and the Author’s portion hereunder of any royalty and other payments due Author paid directly to Author.

6.       EXECUTION OF AGREEMENTS:  Agency will not enter into agreements on behalf of the Work without Author’s approval.  No agreement for sale of a Work shall be valid without Author’s signature unless Author has expressly provided permission for Agency to sign by proxy (usually only applicable for the sale of translation/foreign rights.)  This Agreement may be digitally or facsimile signed and in counterparts, each of which together shall be deemed one and the same document.

7.       INDEMNIFICATION: Author hereby warrants ownership to all the rights related to the Work and other works governed by this Agreement and represents that Author is authorized to dispose of them and represents and warrants that all manuscripts are original, are free from any plagiarism, slander or libelous content or intent, and do not give advice or make statements that are not supportable and may, if followed, cause harm to others or property.  Author will keep an original copy of the manuscript in Author’s possession and declares that there are no liens or pending legal action against the Work or any other work subject to this Agreement.  Author accepts full and complete responsibility for the results of the authorized disposition of the Work or any other work subject to this Agreement by any third parties.  Author shall defend, indemnify, and hold Agency and its employees, sub-contractors, and corporation harmless from any and all liabilities, losses, claims, demands, costs (including attorneys’ fees and expenses) and any other expenses arising from or in connection with any breach or claimed violation of any of the representations or warranties set forth in this paragraph 7.

8.       PREVIOUS EXPOSURE: Prior to or upon signing this Agreement, Author will provide Agency with a complete list of publishers, if any, located anywhere in the world who have seen the Work or any other work subject to this Agreement or a proposal for the Work or any other work subject to this Agreement in any form.

9.       NO WARRANTIES:  Author acknowledges that Agency does not purchase literary properties and cannot guarantee or warrant a sale of the Work or any other work covered by the terms of this Agreement.  Author acknowledges that other works may exist in the marketplace which may be similar to the Work, and that neither the Agency, its employees, successors nor assigns can bear any responsibility for the existence of such competing works.  Agency has the right to represent similar content as long as the representation does not directly interfere with the efforts made on behalf of the Work.  At the Author’s option, works submitted for representation can be registered with the United States Copyright Office, although it is customary for the publisher to obtain copyright on behalf of the author when the work has become a viable commercial property as a result of a legally binding contract.  Author agrees to notify Agency if and when such copyright is obtained.

10.       ENFORCEMENT:  In the event that a dispute should arise for breach, enforcement or interpretation of this Agreement, the parties agree to resolve such dispute by binding arbitration administered by JAMS, Inc. or ADR Services, Inc. Santa Monica or Los Angeles, California, at the election of the party first filing for relief and subject to the applicable rules of the selection arbitration tribunal.  Prejudgment remedies may be sought in the Los Angeles Superior Court, with the parties hereby consenting to such exclusive court jurisdiction.  The prevailing party in any dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement, whether in arbitration or court, to procure prejudgment relief or confirmation of any arbitration award or on appeal shall recover from the other party his/her/its reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses, including those charged by the arbitration tribunal and arbitrator.  This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of California except its conflict of laws principles.

11.       GENERAL TERMS:  The parties hereto are independent contractors of one another and, except as expressly set forth herein, they are not agents or representatives of the others, and in no event an employee of the other.  Due to the personal nature of Author’s services, this Agreement is not assignable or transferrable by Author, however, Author’s heirs and assigns shall be bound to pay Agency any fees due hereunder as if Author were alive.  This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties, superseding all prior discussions, understandings, and agreements.  No waiver or indulgence of any breach hereof shall be deemed a waiver of any other breach.  In the event any part of this Agreement is deemed unenforceable or invalid, the remainder of the Agreement shall remain enforceable and in effect.  Paragraph titles are inserted for convenience only, and are not to be used to construe the provisions.  This Agreement shall be interpreted according to its fair meaning and intent and not against the drafter of all or any provisions hereof.  This Agreement cannot be canceled, altered or amended except in writing and signed by both parties.

The undersigned represent and warrant that they have read and fully understand the terms of this Agreement and agree to be bound thereby and that this Agreement.


That’s it!  Hope your work is so fabulous we offer YOU one of these soon!

COPYRIGHT © 2015, Keller Media, Inc.
Infringement WILL be prosecuted.