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I am in the process of researching for a book I would like to compile with other writers. My proposal is to ask women in my local community as well as from support groups to write a letter/memoir to their son for publication in a book It Takes a Village. How do I collect this information and protect the writer and myself, as the one with the idea? I want to protect myself by doing a form that indicates they are submitting their work to me and my committee and cannot use my idea later. Once their work is submitted, I would like permission to edit it for grammar errors and content review. In addition, I would like to know what specifically do I include in a non-disclosure agreement for this particular project?

Asked on March 5, 2018 under Business Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no specific or set form for such an agreement, and that you have outlined in your question--
1) That they cannot use your idea or anything you disclose to them for their own benefit or the benefit of others, or disclose to other persons without your permission;
2) That you have the sole discretion to decide to use the content they submit;
3) That if you choose to, you may publish and use it; and
4) You have the right to edit the content
--would form the outline of an agreement; simply elaborate on it and make sure that all the terms are clear. Note, however, that for any contract or agreement to be enforceable, there must be "consideration"--something of value. It does not have to be large--a token initial payment, plus another, larger (but still modest) one if their content is used--would be sufficient, or value can be provided in other ways (gift cards; authorial credit; etc.), but *something* of value must be given them in exchange for their agreement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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