Contracts, Rights, and Signing Authors


Learn how literary agents take author manuscripts from query to signed contracts in this introductory course.


What you can learn.

  • Review and understand the content and role of agency agreements
  • Analyze publishing agreements and learn to understand legal language
  • Explore various publishing rights and what they mean
  • Identify the difference between a good deal and a bad deal for authors

About this course:

Literary agents are uniquely positioned in the publishing world to have their hands in many facets of the book process, from a book's inception through to finished copies and publicity. This course begins with an overview of the Agency Agreement, the contract that binds an author with an agent. Students analyze the contract in order to gain a general understanding of the role and responsibilities of an agent and how they go about shepherding authors and their work. This course also unravels the mysteries of book Publishing Agreements and provides a step-by-step guide to understanding the legal language, recognizing which subsidiary rights can (and should) be negotiated, and the differences between a good deal and bad deal—it isn't always money. Students leave the course with a general knowledge of what it takes to foster a book project from query to signed contracts. Required for the Certificate in Literary Representation.

Contact Us

Speak to a student advisor. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

This course applies towards the following certificates & specializations…

Ready to start
your future?
By signing up, you agree to UCLA Extension’s Privacy Policy.

vector icon of building

Corporate Education

Learn how we can help your organization meet its professional development goals and corporate training needs.

Learn More

vector icon of building

Donate to UCLA Extension

Support our many efforts to reach communities in need.

Innovation Programs

Student Scholarships

Lifelong Learning

See More