Publisher Won’t Give Me a Contract!

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Dear Angela,

A publisher seems to be resisting writing an agreement/contract for my article, which he has already accepted. It was written on spec, and accepted for publication, probably in June. I have requested an agreement/contract more than once. All he does is quote the guidelines, which I know are notoriously unreliable and that writers cannot claim compensation based on them.

What should I do?

Tell him that, without a contract, he can’t publish your article. Tell him you require a contract either by mail or email within five business days or the deal is off. And, good for you for not bending to this common ploy! Without a contract, he could run your article and never pay you a dime.

The email he sent, which you provided a copy of, does not tell you exactly how much he’s going to pay you, nor when. So, yes, you need this firm information in print or by email.