Can I Use One Publishing Company’s Templates at Another?

I published my book with a company that offers “templates” for formatting an author’s book and cover. Can I just send you those files for you to print from?

Absolutely not. If you read the contract of the company that offered those “templates”, you can see they own the rights to the templates (and all files created using those templates). You only retain the right to the text appearing on your cover, and the text appearing in the book itself. You can’t use one company’s templates to produce books at another company. A lawsuit would very likely result and you’d be putting your new publisher at risk of a lawsuit as well. Even if a grunt at that publishing company tries to assure you that you do own the rights to your files, remember that the contract you agreed to will trump any passive comment made by an employee (who is likely someone who doesn’t even understand their employer’s contracts). Heck, some employees at POD publishers are working on commission and will say or do just about anything (including lying or making up “facts”) to get you on board, or to keep you on board. When it comes to your money and your rights, never accept the word of an employee at the company. Check your contract instead.

Some POD publishers use these types of templates to lure authors in but authors soon learn they are then married to the POD publisher because the publisher claims ownership of files created using their templates. So, if the author wants to move their book elsewhere for any reason (even if the POD publisher is ripping them off), they must start over from scratch with formatting and cover design. As I’ve said before, we call this a forced marriage.

Many POD publishers will do anything they can to make it financially and logistically impossible for authors to leave their service once they sign on. Never sign on with POD publishers that claim all rights to production files! At, authors own all rights to their production files. Your book, your rights!


The FINE PRINT of Self-Publishing – Third Edition
The Contracts & Services of 45 Self-Publishing Companies – Analyzed, Ranked & Exposed by attorney Mark Levine.