5 September 2012
The agreement or contract between the author and publisher sets out the legal obligations of both parties when a book is embarked upon. There are other areas, however, where it is not possible to set out in detail how the relationship between author and publisher will operate. The business relationship, between author and publisher, often has a personal dimension and this is the area where misunderstandings and disagreements can arise.
The Voluntary Code is offered in the spirit of best practice, and to further good relationships between publishers and authors. It does not preclude any help or support from a writer’s agent. It is not legally binding but an adherence to the Code represents an act of faith at a time when lines are getting blurred and distinctions between self-publishing and traditional publishing are being challenged. It is a useful reminder for both parties that care is needed to keep this important partnership running as smoothly as possible.
Marion Sinclair, Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland, said:
“The idea for the Accord arose out of a chance conversation after a Society of Authors conference in Edinburgh. The topics being discussed were perennial - the many ways in which publisher and authors can and should improve their working relationship. Many of the solutions focus on getting the communication right, so the Accord took shape around that idea.
“We were delighted to be working closely with the Society on the Voluntary Code as, more than ever, we need to be clear about the value that both parties bring to the publication of a book, about the notion of partnership, and hope that it will help foster an atmosphere of mutual respect.”
Angus Konstam, Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland (pictured), said: