October 17, 2023 in 

A territory is a defined geographical area within which a publishing contract grants exclusive rights to sell and distribute a copyrighted work. The most prevalent form of territory granted in publishing contracts is national, giving publishers exclusive distribution rights throughout their chosen nation’s boundaries. However, smaller territories such as specific regions or cities may also exist, as may grants that are worldwide in scope.

Territorial grants in publishing contracts exist primarily to enable publishers to recoup their investment. By having exclusive rights for selling and distributing the work within certain territories, publishers can ensure they recoup their assets at a profitable price, setting it at either high enough to cover their costs while making a profit but low enough that customers still buy copies, which is essential for success.

Publishing contracts are legal agreements between authors and publishers whereby one agrees to produce and distribute another author’s works in exchange for a percentage of sales proceeds. They can cover as small an area as one city or even worldwide. Depending on its size, this may increase or decrease how much an author earns through sales of their works.

Territory is paramount in any publishing contract because it determines where an author’s work can be sold. If the territory is too small, an author may need to make more from sales to support themselves. At the same time, too wide an area would make controlling quality difficult, so authors and publishers should carefully consider the size before agreeing on one before signing any contracts.

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