In October 2016 we announced our initiative on Digital Book World to make our publishing contract simple and transparent and posted it online, so every author can read it before they even upload their manuscript to the platform.
We had seen how the top 5 publishers handle this, how intransparent they are and how authors receive a 50-page contract full of lawyer-language that’s very hard for everyone else to understand. We wanted to change that, we wanted to create a fair, understandable and short contract for authors and wanted to make it visible to the public.
As Inkitt continues to evolve, there will be changes made to the contract in order to reflect new business decisions and also clarifications to avoid misunderstanding based on the feedback we receive. Every time there is a new version of the contract, our previously signed authors are offered to update to the new, updated version.
We’ll be listing all future changes below.
[LATEST] Contract Version 1.2 (July 10, 2017)
Inkitt’s goal is to be the fairest publishing house in the world and in the past few weeks we have been working hard on amending our contract to be more concise and to reflect our values better. To achieve this, we worked together with, Alex Gigante, Special Counsel at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP and former Executive V.P. for Legal Affairs at Penguin, a true expert in publishing. You can find the latest version of our contract here.
Removed Moral Rights Language: We entirely removed this part, as it is not relevant for our publishing process.
First Refusal Right Language Clarified: We reserve the right to match the offers of other publishers for further parts of your series. This means that if another publisher offers you a better deal, we can try to match their offer or give you a better deal in order to keep you as a part of the Inkitt family.
Improved Reversion and Termination Rights: If we don’t sell at least 1000 copies in the first year you can cancel the contract and if we don’t sell more than 500 copies in any 12 months period, you can also terminate the contract. If we don’t exercise film, TV, dramatic rights, or game rights within 18 months after the publishing date our authors can claim those rights back.
Editing Process 100% in Favor of Authors: We want to give our authors 100% freedom with their creativity. Inkitt will suggest edits, authors can apply them if they choose to and reach an agreement with us.
More Precise Non-Competition Clause: This clause has been further specified to only be in effect for one year after the publishing date and language was added to make it more concise about the book in question.
Added Detailed Royalty Section: An entire royalty section has been added showcasing every type of sale along with corresponding percentages.
(This post was updated on July 10, 2017)
Contract Version 1.1 (Dec 24, 2016)
You can find this version of our contract here. The royalty model for authors was de-risked. The deal in the previous contract version, was an entrepreneurially fair deal but also riskier for authors. In other words, Inkitt would invest minimum $6,000 in the author’s marketing campaign and once the money was earned back, Inkitt and the author would split the profits 50-50. In this version (V1.1) of the contract the deal was de-risked for authors: authors will receive 25% from net revenues from the first dollar on, no matter if Inkitt makes its money back or not. Inkitt still invests minimum $6,000 in the campaign and if there is more opportunity, even more, but the risk of this investment is fully on Inkitt.
Contract Version 1 (October 5, 2016)
You can find the first version of our contract here. On the right side you’ll find “bubbles” with an easily comprehensible summary of each paragraph.