When you sign with a literary agency, consider the contract (or agreement) that bears your signature to be the owner’s manual for your relationship with your agent. The terms under which the literary agency operates—everything from how and when you are paid to how and when you can sever your agreement—are governed by your literary agency contract.
So before you sign a contract with a literary agent, be sure you know what you’re getting into. We could spend a lot of time talking about the infinite details of a literary agency contract. There are many books available to writers about intellectual property law and publishing industry agreements.
But for now, we’re only going to touch on the main parts of a literary agency contract and give you a brief overview of what you can expect from your future partnership.
Keep in mind that all literary agencies are different and may have different contracts. A few literary agents may not use a written contract at all (but we recommend that you consider these agencies with caution).