Useful Documents

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Welcome aspiring authors!

While EPIC, The Electronic Publishing Industry CoalitionTM, accepts only published authors and industry professionals into our membership, we do want to provide aspiring authors with some tools to assist them in becoming published.

As part of that initiative, we have a few articles that may be of interest:

EPIC Publisher's Coalition Members and Code of Ethics: Publishers that belong to EPIC's Publisher's Coalition have agreed to abide by a specific Code of Ethics when entering into contracts with authors as well as in their dealings with authors. Please note: This list does not include all publishers in business at this time nor does it constitute endorsement of these publishers by EPIC.

EPIC's Model Contract: This sample contract represents what EPIC feels is ideal for authors today. However, this contract should not be considered legal advice or representation and each author should read and understand any document prior to signing.

EPIC's Red/Yellow Flag List: While each publisher in operation today adhere's to their own contract model, please review and understand the red/yellow flags listed in EPIC's Red/Yellow Flag List as these are items, should they be included in a contract, could be concerning for an author.

EPIC's eWorkshop Yahoo Group: This Yahoo group contains an array of free workshops on various writing related topics.  Feel free to request to join the group and peruse the archives at your leisure.  In the future, many of these workshops will be available on the EPIC website.

Over the coming months, EPIC will expand this section to include additional articles relating to the journey to publication.

Below you will find the Publisher's Coalition's Code of Ethics which have been agreed upon by the publishers found here.

Code of Ethics

We, the members of, EPICTM,The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition, Publisher's Coalition, believe that a manuscript, once prepared for publication, is a book—regardless of its format. EPICTM Publishers sell books in many formats, but what is uniquely common to all members is that we produce electronic editions (eBooks) of our books. While each publisher-member may use different business models to conduct their publishing enterprise, our primary purpose is to sell books to the reading public.

In order to promote and encourage the growth of our electronic publishing efforts, we agree to conduct our individual publishing enterprises according to the following Code of Ethics:

  1. As our authors prosper, so do we. Therefore, we pledge to be open and fair with our authors above all else.
  2. We pledge to abide by the spirit of the EPIC model contract (as it appeared on the EPIC website in March 2009), with such modifications and adaptations as are reasonable within our specific market sectors and business models.
  3. We pledge to contract for only those rights to an author's work(s) that we reasonably expect to utilize during the term of the contract.
  4. We pledge to release the rights to a work back to the author, or the author's representative, according to the release terms of our contracts.
  5. We pledge complete disclosure of any and all fees we may charge in connection with the publication of an author's work(s). Full disclosure of those fees will be made during contract negotiation.
  6. We pledge full financial disclosure to our authors concerning the method of calculating royalties. This includes all expenses (if any) deducted prior to the computation of royalty payments.
  7. We pledge to pay royalties promptly according to the terms of the contracts we have with our authors.
  8. We pledge to be open to audits of our business records concerning authors' royalties, according to the terms spelled out in our contracts.
  9. We pledge to maintain an open channel of communication between ourselves and our authors regarding the financial progress of their work(s), with the understanding that both publishers and authors have an express obligation to treat these disclosures as confidential.
  10. If requested, we pledge to maintain as confidential the legal name of any author choosing to write under a pseudonym, in as much as is possible. However, the legal name attached to a pseudonym may be revealed to bookkeeping staff, editing staff, attorneys, etc., as required to conduct normal business operations, or as compelled by law enforcement, the IRS, the courts, or other agencies of government.
  11. As much as we are able, we pledge to assist authors in promoting their work(s), given the limited funding and time constraints inherent to running a small press enterprise.


Contracts contain many clauses, but just because it's in a contract doesn't mean you should accept it. Publishers differ in their willingness to discuss contract terms or to change anything. Only the author can decide whether any given term is a deal-killer. To that end, here are few "red flags" you should be aware of and think about carefully before signing a contract.

"Red Flags" -- clauses to absolutely avoid.

This agreement, dated __________, 20__, is made between ____________, herein called Publisher and ______________, herein called Author, as respects __________________, herein called the Work.

I. Publishing Rights: Author agrees to grant to Publisher exclusive worldwide English language rights to publish and sell the Work in: (Check off all applicable rights included)

_____ Readable (text) digital format (electronic download, disk, CD/CD-ROM, E-Book reader or similar media of presentation, excluding motion picture/television/video/DVD rights)

_____ Print on Demand trade paperback

_____ Traditional print run trade paperback

_____ Audio-cassette, audio-CD or other audio format

_____ Other: (Specify)___________________________

All rights in the Work not specifically granted to Publisher in this agreement are reserved by the author.

Why Join EPIC?

  • Special deals only for EPIC members;
  • Reduced entry fees for EPIC's eBook Competition;
  • Members only resources;
  • Promotion through EPIC's Author, Publisher, and Services lists;
  • Networking with fellow professionals to build relationships that last a lifetime!
  • Monthly newsletter to keep you in touch with the Board of Directors.

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