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What is an ‘Option’ in Book Contracts?

Contracts can be one of the most confusing parts of any industry. There is a lot of jargon, a lot of technicalities. This can make contracts inaccessible to most people. At BookEnds, we make it a priority to educate on all of the ins and outs of publishing, including contracts. Today’s weekly video blog dives into the ‘option’ clause of book contracts. James and Jessica talk to viewers about what this clause means for you and your future stories.


Category: Blog



  1. Interesting, thank you! It seems that option clauses on existing contracts might limit a prospective client’s value to an agency. I’m seeking representation, and I have one book under a contract that does not have an option clause. In my query letter’s bio paragraph, is it worthwhile mentioning that? Or should that information wait until (if!) there’s an agent conversation? I’m a little worried that saying I’m under contract with a traditional publisher might deter a potential agent, under the assumption that options clauses are quite common, especially with unagented authors. Thank you if you have any advice on what to say or not to say.

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