Lost in the Internet!
Moving into the electronic age has meant many of our old, comfortable processes are going online. Signing contracts is no exception.
Several online companies have sprouted that allow all different types of companies to get electronic signatures from their signees.
I've seen this in motion at the recording studio in Burbank, for example, where the studio executive has the voice actors sign their contracts on an iPad. I've personally been using electronic contracts for several years with WilyWriters.com because many of my authors are in different countries and mailing takes too long, is too inconvenient, and lends itself to delaying the contracting process. The U.S. Postal Service has become something of a dinosaur, sadly.
I've pulled together some information on electronic contracts for you to browse.
Authors, a digital or electronic contract's content should be no different from a regular, paper one's. The only difference is that you place your mark on the contract and agree to its terms with an electronic signature. A click of your mouse button may be all that's required. Your hand-written signature is no longer needed.
Publishers, especially those publishing magazines, anthologies, or other such projects that require a great deal of contract wrangling, will find electronic contracts to be a life-saver. Adobe's EchoSign offers the following conveniences with its online electronic contract tracker:
- You can send the contract to multiple signers as well by simply listing all the E-mail addresses it must go to.
- You can set up the contract as a template and fill in the appropriate information for the signer each time.
- The program alerts you via E-mail and sends you a copy of the contract once the signer(s) has signed.
- The program will send reminders to your signers if they forget to sign.The program will automatically send the final copy of the contract (all signatures done) to all the signers.
- You can store all your contracts online, where they are backed up by the company and less likely to be lost in a hard-drive crash.
- And many other benefits.
Learn More or Get Started
- EchoSign is the electronic contracting and tracking system created by Adobe, the people who make PDF readers and writers. They are an extremely reliable company with a strong track record. You can rely on this. They have a FREE version of their service for those who need fewer than 5 contracts signed per month. If you find yourself needing more than that, their fees are reasonable and by the month so you don't have to pay for more than you need. Learn more about their awesome signing features, here.
Other e-signature companies (that I cannot recommend) include:
- FDIC regulations relative to e-signatures.
- "How Legal are Digital Contracts" by Geoffrey Oldmixen. Skip down to the Paperless Contracts section to get the most tickle for your time.
- "Electronic Signatures and Online Contracts" by NOLO, Law for All. This page has an awesome video about the topic as well.
- The "Electronic Signature" article on Wikipedia.com includes a history of the laws surrounding e-contracting and is a great place to start for deeper research into the topic.