When you have a number of base contracts, with a lot of variations depending on the circumstances of the particular contract, there are a number of tools available to help you manage this complexity.

Contract templates

Create a contract template for each major type of contract. Build up the template using contract clauses. Do not include a number in the contract clause, because when you edit this template at the contract level the system will apply numbering based on the order of the clauses.

Use the appendices provided rather than including delivery date details in a clause

Instead of having words such as:

The Author undertakes to deliver to the Publishers…together with [NUMBER OF COLOUR ILLUSTRATIONS] and [NUMBER OF BLACK-AND-WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS] as discussed in correspondence

instead the clause should read:

The Author undertakes to deliver to the Publishers the illustrations as detailed in the Appendix.

In the contract, in the Contract Formatting section, leave all checkboxes unticked, to include all the default appendices. Then add in detailed deliverables in the Delivery Dates section, such as:

The dates will then be clearly laid out at the end of the contract PDF.

Contract clause overrides at the contract level

A vanilla contract template does not allow for variations. Duplicate a template’s clauses into the specific contract and then use the contract-specific clauses section to override as required:

  • First, click the duplicate icon and select the contract template you want to copy into the contract. E.g. select your main template called something like Standard main agreement.
  • Next, optionally, click the duplicate icon again and select additional contract templates. E.g. select your template called Subsidy, which may contain an additional subsidy clause.
  • Finally, re-order the clauses as appropriate. e.g. put the Subsidy clause as clause 3.

Use formatting at the clause level to act as a reminder of what editors need to make decisions on

If the commissioning editor needs to manually edit a clause to suit the precise requirements of a contract, add reminders into the clause template and surround them with two asterisks, e.g.:

The Work shall constitute all appropriate textual matter, photographs, pictures, diagrams, maps, charts, tables, graphs, bibliography, index, captions to illustrations and such other material as the Publishers may require to be incorporated in the published edition or editions of the Work.

**Optional variation: may reference an Appendix breaking down who is responsible for delivering which parts of the book, if multiple authors are involved.**

When the contract PDF is generated, this appears as:

There is thus a visual clue, and a searchable token, for editors to review the contract, and edit as required.

Use contract contributor specific contract templates

When there are mulitple payees on a contract who each need a different contract layout, select the relevant template in the payees section. This feature is restricted to contract-template level editing, rather than the richer contract-specific clauses feature descrived above. It is suitable for illustrator contracts where, for instance, instead of referring to the Work, the contract refers to the Illustrations.