Sample Letter of Agreement for Writing a Book Proposal

by Anne Wayman

This is an actual proposal I used with all the identification of the client removed. It will give you an idea of how I actually write the agreements I write and how it conforms to Writing Contracts which gives some of the how and why details.

Proposal for (Client’s Name)

The Goal & Purpose

The goal is to create a book proposal for (client) for his book which has a working title similar to (a working title), known here as Book.

The purpose of the Proposal is to create a marketing document for Client to present to agents or publishers in order to get his book sold.

Proposal Contents

The book proposal will include:

  1. A cover or query lettter
  1. Title page
  1. A synopsis of the book
  1. A detailed table of contents
  1. Technical details
  1. An about the author section
  1. A market study
  1. Sample chapter(s)

The Method

Client, (the author) and Anne (proposal writer) will work primarily by email, Client has already provided Anne with a preliminary list of ideas and his thinking about the book. She will begin creating a working table of contents based on that list. Client is also working on a paragraph or two that sum up his Vision of the book. The two of them will decide on which chapter or chapters should be used for the book proposal, and will then proceed to write them. Client will also provide Anne with the details she needs for the About the Author section. Anne will do the market study, provide the technical details, title page, and, with Client’s help a synopsis. She will also be responsible for the query letter.

Notwithstanding the above assignments, anything and everything written will be subject to Client’s approval before it is finalized.

As the working table of contents is completed, Anne and Client will determine what chapter or chapters he wants to include in this proposal. Anne and Client will talk about each chapter. Anne will take that information a draft each chapter or part of a chapter which she will submit to Client for his comments, editing, etc. He will return the draft to Anne so she can make the changes. It is anticipated that each chapter will take between two and five rounds of back and forth to complete. There will be another round of editing once the proposal is put together.

Ownership Rights

Client retains all rights, title, and interest in the Book and in any ancillary products that are developed from the Book. This includes:

(i) All materials, including but not limited to Word files, PowerPoint Presentations, recordings, and completed manuscript, the completed Book and/or other product resulting from this effort;

(ii)  The content of the subject matter of the Book provided by you;

(iii) Any ideas, works, documentation or notes conceived related to the Book;

(iv) All writings by Anne related to or associated with the Book; and,

(v) All Anne’s work product related to the Book.

Confidential Information

Anne acknowledges and agrees that all information related to the Book, including without limitation, its content, writings, work product, audio tapes, notes, pictures and diagrams, is of great value to Client. Accordingly, Anne agrees not to divulge to anyone, either during or after the term of this Agreement, any Confidential Information obtained or developed by her while working on the Book and any related projects that may develop. Upon the expiration or termination of this Agreement, Anne agrees to make no further use or utilization of any Confidential Information. Anne may only disclose Confidential Information to third parties upon Client’s express written consent. The provisions of this Section on “Confidential Information” shall survive the termination of this Agreement.

Likewise, Client accepts sole responsibility and liability for the written contents of this project. 

Cost

It is noted that Anne would usually charge up to $XXXXX for a book proposal that included three chapters. In consideration for her reduced fee, Client agrees that Anne will share in the proceeds from the book proposal in the amount of twenty percent of any advances. In addition, the total Anne will charge will depend on the number of chapters Client chooses to include as samples. Each chapter will cost $XXXXX. The balance of the proposal will cost an additional $XXXXXX.

Client will pay Anne half up front for each portion – that is, $XXXXX up front for each chapter, the balance due when the chapter is complete and $XXXXX up front to start the project and the final $XXXXX when the proposal is complete.

The inclusion of Anne in the income of the book in no way impinges on Client’s ownership of it. Nor does it imply that her name will be included as author. Anne is working as a ghostwriter and will provide anonymity for Client. 

Pace and Additional Responsibilities

Both Anne and Client feel some urgency in completing the proposal in order to get in the hands of an agent just as soon as possible. With this anticipated it will take 30-60 days for the proposal and one chapter or two chapters to be completed. If Client wants a third chapter, that will add another two weeks, more or less, to the project. Anne agrees to work roughly 14-25 hours per week on this project. She will complete drafts as she receives information from Client and will return those drafts to him for comments and edits which she will make and return for another round and so forth until the chapter is completed.

Client agrees he will turn the manuscript drafts around with comments to Anne within 3 days of receipt. If he is delayed he will let Anne know in advance and they will work out a new schedule.

Further, both Anne and Client agree to set aside adequate time to discuss the project including constructive criticism, feedback and/or concerns or questions that directly relate to this project. It is the client’s responsibility to provide any and all data, research, and personal input to allow the Anne to complete the agreed upon Book.

It is also recognized that Anne is not a copyeditor and that Client will be responsible for the final copyediting of the proposal. Anne will make recommendations for a copyeditor but it is Client’s responsibility to hire and pay that person.

Anne will turn the finalized proposal into a finished word file and a simple .pdf file, either of which can be submitted to agents.

Anne agrees to give Client her best advice on finding either an agent or a publisher, but she offers no guarantee that Client will be able to find either an agent or a publisher. Client will work his own network to see if he can locate an appropriate agent or publisher.

It is recognized that this is a personal service contract and that although this represents our mutual intention on this date, things can change. Therefore, this Agreement can be modified by either party in writing with seven days notice and is terminable by either party in writing with seven days notice.

Payment of the initial $XXXX to Anne signals acceptance of this proposal by Client. This represents the up-front money on the proposal and the first half of the money due for the first chapter.

Digitally signed:

Anne Wayman

Date of signing

 

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