Elegant Literature’s Publishing Contract
We have a uniquely streamlined Publication Process, and you should understand it before submitting to the contest. Here is the detailed overview:
Publishing Contract Overview
Obviously, this overview is not a substitute for reading the actual contract. However, it’s a pretty close second. We’ve written the relevant details in plainspeak without all the legalese that make contracts such a chore to read through. If you are familiar with short story publishing contracts, you’ll probably notice the terms are more favorable to Authors than normal. This is intentional.
The Author retains all copyright to their work.
We buy exclusive First World Electronic Rights for 2 months, and non-exclusive thereafter. This means that only we can publish your story (and only on our website and in our magazine) for 2 months. From month 3 onward you can sell the story to another publisher, upload it to your blog, or do anything you want with it. After 6 months you can even ask us to delete the work from our site if it helps you sell it elsewhere (although it will remain in the digital copies of the magazine readers downloaded).
Ten (10) cents per word ($0.10/word) including the title, within 30 days of publication. Realistically you’ll get paid within the week if you can confirm your details quickly. We try to keep the process as streamlined as possible, and we love paying aspiring authors!
Payment is via PayPal, so please have an account. It’s free.
Also, in case you’re unfamiliar, professional pay is considered 8 cents per word by the SFWA. Publication with us will earn you credit towards being deemed a “Pro”.
You give us the right to use your name, picture, biography, and other details you voluntarily provide us to promote the magazine and contest. That’s kind of the point right?
That being said, if you use a Pen Name and don’t give us a picture, bio, or socials to share, then we won’t include those things in the magazine or anywhere else. It’s up to you!
We won’t change anything about your work without your permission. The whole point of our streamlined process is to cut out all the back and forth, so you can bet we won’t be looking to change much. The only exception is for minor spelling mistakes. Like if you write ‘an’ instead of ‘and’. Our contract gives us the right to fix obvious mistakes like that without asking first. Don’t worry though, we aren’t trigger happy. If you have characters with accents or apostrophes in their name we won’t touch’em.
This is purely so we can publish stories that we think are amazing but somehow a typo got through. This is not to say you should forget about editing, as more typos equal a lower chance to get published.
If you don’t ask us to remove the work from our site after 6 months, then anytime in the next three (3) years we might include it in an anthology, which is basically a republishing of some of the best stories in our catalog. This looks good on you if your story is selected, and we also pay you again. The amount is based on how many pages your story takes up compared to all stories published in the anthology, and how much the anthology makes. You’ll also get a free copy. Score!
We secretly want to get into podcasting and audiobooks, if only because it’s so cool! At this time we have no plans to produce an audio production of any work we publish. Nevertheless, we have the worldwide non-exclusive audio rights to your work for six (6) months.
This means a couple of things. Most importantly, it’s non-exclusive, so if anyone else wants to make an audiobook from your story, go right ahead. You can even record it yourself and publish it on your podcast! And since we don’t have any plans to produce anything, just let us know and we’ll be happy to terminate our audio rights so you can resell them.
If we go forward with audio we have to do it within six (6) months of publishing your story, or we give up the right and would have to buy it again.
Finally, if we do record an audio version of your story within six months, you’ll probably be involved. We’d want to be involved if it was our work! And if for any reason you want us to take it down, you can ask us to do so after one year.
This is almost exactly the same as written anthologies. If you don’t ask us to take your audio story down then sometime in the next three years we might choose it as one of our best and re-release it with the other top audio stories. You’d of course get paid again, and receive a free copy.
If we select your work for publication, we will go ahead and publish it in our Magazine without further consultation with you. This makes the whole process faster, and we are all bound by the terms in this contract if we do publish your work.
Think of it this way: instead of waiting for an acceptance letter and then going through rounds of contract negotiation, then editing, then potentially waiting for months before seeing it in print, you submit your story, and if we like it, we publish it as fast as we can.
Because of the streamlined nature of our publication process, this contract is not open for negotiation. If you email us asking to change the terms it will fall on deaf ears. We can say this without shame or guilt because, in our experience, this is one of the best short story contracts for authors out there. We want to publish and promote as many new writers as possible, and we can’t do that if our staff are bogged down with tedious back and forth communication. We hope you understand! And we hope to be publishing your work soon! So enough reading, get writing.
This Agreement made between Elegant Media Publishing Corporation, of 26 Muriel Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4J2X9, and its successors and assigns, hereinafter referred to as the PUBLISHER, and any and all members of ElegantLiterature.com, hereinafter referred to as the AUTHOR.
The parties agree as follows:
- The Work. This Agreement pertains to any textual work the Author submits for the possibility of consideration on ElegantLiterature.com.
- (a) Limitations On Scope Of Grant.
(i) This Agreement is not a transfer of the copyright to the Work.
(ii) This Agreement does not permit the Publisher to publish the Work in any revisions of the Magazine in any medium unless explicitly granted by This Agreement.
- (b) All rights not expressly granted by the Author reside exclusively with the Author. Any rights that may be developed in the future shall reside with the Author.
- (a) Electronic Rights: The Author grants First World Electronic Rights to the Publisher to include the Work in the Magazine and on the Website, for publication in the English language within 90 days of the date of submission.
Definition – First World Electronic Rights: The right to be the first to provide the material in electronic format, worldwide. Ex. the story has not appeared in any digital magazine or blog, and cannot be found via a Google search of the text.
The rights granted under the terms of this paragraph shall be exclusive for a period of two (2) months following the first date of publication under this paragraph and non-exclusive thereafter.
For the avoidance of doubt, the rights granted to the Publisher under this paragraph are rights only to the publication or dissemination of an electronic replica of the Work as it is incorporated in the digital magazine and website owned by the Publisher, and not to any other publication, dissemination or use of the Work.
The grant of nonexclusive electronic rights to the Publisher is subject, however, to the following limitation: after six (6) months from the date of initial publication, the Author may terminate the grant of non-exclusive electronic rights and ask the Publisher to remove the Work from the magazine’s web site, archives, electronic back issues, bundles, or any other electronic format, and the Publisher agrees that it will comply within 30 days of such request.
- (b) Unless the Author specifies otherwise, the Publisher will take care to ensure to the best of its ability that the Work is not archived by the Internet Archive or similar archiving website and is not displayed in its entirety by any other website, including Google, Amazon.com, or the like.
- The Author agrees not to publish or permit others to publish the Work in the English language prior to its initial publication in the Magazine and throughout the exclusivity period granted to the Publisher thereafter without the prior written permission of the Publisher. If the Work is selected for a “best of the year” or an awards anthology, the Publisher agrees to waive this clause, provided the Author gives the Publisher prior written notice of the selection by such an anthology.
- (a) For the rights granted to the Publisher in this Agreement, the Publisher shall pay the Author the sum of ten cents ($0.10) per published word, including the Works title, no later than 30 days after publication of the Work. If payment is not received as required by this paragraph, all rights granted hereunder shall immediately revert to the Author.
(b) Payment shall be made by Paypal. The Author must have a Paypal account created and connected to their Author Page on ElegantLiterature.com, or be able to provide one in order for payment to be made.
Any fees, charges, or commissions required because of the use of electronic means of payment shall be paid by the Publisher.
- (a) If the Publisher fails to publish the Work within 90 days of the date of submission, all rights granted hereunder shall immediately revert to the Author. In such event, the Author shall retain any payments made under this Agreement prior to such reversion.
- (b) Should the Publisher wish to extend the publishing deadline, the Publisher shall pay the Author an additional fee equal to 10% of the initial fee for each 30-day extension.
- Arising under and terminating with the grant of rights to the Work in this Agreement, the Author grants the Publisher the right to use the Author’s name, image, likeness, and biographical material for all advertising, promotion and other use of the Work. The Author shall provide the Publisher with a photograph of the Author and appropriate biographical material for such use via their Author page and the submission form on ElegantLiterature.com. The Publisher shall use only the information provided on this page and form.
- The Author warrants that, as of the date of executing this agreement, he or she is the sole author of the Work; that he or she is the owner of all the rights granted to the Publisher hereunder and has full power to enter into this agreement and to make the grants herein contained; that the Work is original and any prior publication of the Work in whole or in part has been fully disclosed to the Publisher and that to the best of the Author’s knowledge the Work does not infringe upon any copyright or upon any other proprietary or personal right of any person, firm or corporation.
- The Author will indemnify the Publisher against any loss, injury, or damage finally sustained in a court of law (including any legal costs or expenses and any compensation costs and disbursements paid by the Publisher) incurred by the Publisher in connection with or in consequence of an intentional breach of one or more the foregoing warranties, for which the Publisher has no coverage under its insurance policies. Legal representation and the decision to settle will be made in consultation between the Author and Publisher, and neither may proceed without the approval of the other, not to be unreasonably withheld.
- The Publisher will make no alterations to the Work’s text or title without the Author’s written approval in e-mail or hardcopy. However, the Publisher reserves the right to make minor copyediting changes to conform the style of the text to its customary form and usage, and to make minor corrections of misspelled English words where the misspelling was likely unintentional by the Author, without consulting the Author.
- The Publisher agrees to list a proper copyright notice for the Work in the name of the Author at the end of the Web published story and, if published in print, on an appropriate copyright page.
- The Author will be credited on the table of contents page and at the beginning of the story as the name they designated on their Author’s Page or submission form on ElegantLiterature.com.
- The Publisher shall not make the Work available to any distributor, catalog, service, or computer program which alters the text of the work or the display of the work, beyond typographic or formatting changes that do not affect the meaning of the work, or facilitate such changes — including but not limited to removing or changing profanity — without written permission of the Author. Should the Work be so listed without the permission of the Author, the Publisher shall ensure its removal.
- Regardless of its place of execution, this agreement shall be interpreted under the laws of the Province of Ontario.
- The parties agree that any suit, action, or proceeding, whether claim or counterclaim, brought or instituted by either party relating to the subject matter of this Agreement, shall be tried only by a court and not by a jury. The parties to this agreement expressly waive any right to a trial by jury in any such action or proceeding.
- The parties agree that any action to enforce this Agreement shall be brought in the appropriate province or federal court in the Province of Ontario and that such court shall have personal jurisdiction over each of the parties.
- The Publisher may not assign or in any way transfer this contract or the rights granted by it to another person or entity without the written permission of the Author.
- This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties, and supersedes all prior writings or oral agreements. This Agreement may be amended, only by a written agreement clearly setting forth the amendments and signed by both parties.
- If any term or condition of this Agreement is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be illegal, unlawful, or otherwise unenforceable, the parties agree that such term or condition shall be reformed as nearly as may be possible to carry forth the intentions of the parties and that such illegality, unlawfulness or unenforceability shall not act to void any other term or condition of this Agreement nor to void the Agreement as a whole.
- (a) The Author grants to the Publisher for a period of three (3) years the nonexclusive, worldwide English-language right to republish the Work or cause the Work to be republished in any book or anthology consisting of material 80% of which previously appeared on ElegantLiterature.com, and which includes works by five (5) or more contributors.
- (b) The Author shall receive a pro-rata share based on the page count of 50% of the book or anthology’s gross earnings, which includes any advances against royalties, income from all licensed editions, including hardcover, paperback, book club, audiobook, and ebook editions of the book or anthology. Subsidiary rights money will be distributed within 30 days of receipt by the Publisher, so long as a minimum of $5.00 is due to the Author. No payments for subsidiary rights sales will be due until actually received by the Publisher. The pro-rata share shall be determined by dividing the total page count of the book or anthology by the page count of the Work.
- (c) The Author shall receive one free copy of every edition of the book or anthology.
- (a) The Author grants to the Publisher worldwide non-exclusive audio rights to the Work, solely for use in ElegantLiterature.com’s podcasting program, provided that those rights are exercised within six months of publication of the Work on ElegantLiterature.com. The grant of rights to the Publisher in the previous sentence is subject, however, to the following limitation: after one (1) year from the date of initial publication, the Author may terminate the grant of non-exclusive audio rights and ask the Publisher to remove the Work from the magazine’s audio archives, website, and any publicly accessible space, and the Publisher agrees that it will comply within 30 days of such request. The Author also grants to the Publisher for a period of three (3) years the additional, nonexclusive right to collect the audio edition of the Work in the future in an audiobook consisting of material 80% of which previously appeared on ElegantLiterature.com, and which includes works by five (5) or more contributors.
21. (b) The Author shall be paid a pro-rata share of 50% of the gross earnings of such an audiobook, determined by dividing the total time of the audiobook by the total time of the Work. Subsidiary rights money will be distributed within 30 days of receipt by the Publisher, so long as a minimum of $5.00 is due to Author. No payments for subsidiary rights sales will be due until actually received by the Publisher.
21. (c) The Author shall receive one free copy of every audio edition of the book or anthology.
The Author agrees by entering the Contest on ElegantLiterature.com or by submitting through the non-contest form to be bound by this Publishing Contract, without further negotiating, and that the Publisher has the right to publish the work submitted in the Magazine and on its website without further consultation with the Author.
The parties acknowledge that each party has read and understood this contract before execution.