Traditionally, publishing agreements have obligated the publisher to give a small number of free copies of the book to the author, and have allowed limited purchases of additional copies only  (for the author(s personal use and not for resale.(  These provisions are generally acceptable for adult fiction and similar types of books which are most likely to be sold primarily in regular trade channels, and which the author is unlikely to be able to sell in substantial quantities on his or her own.

However, for other types of books, a more liberal policy for purchases and resales by the author may be appropriate.  Examples of situations in which an author might want to seek the right to purchase and resell copies of his or her book include business, motivational or health care books by consultants, speakers and others who regularly host seminars or other  public presentations, and children(s books by authors who participate in readings, workshops or similar events.  For these authors, so-called (back of the room( sales can result in substantially more revenue and professional recognition than is likely to be the case if the author simply leaves sales solely to the publisher.  The publisher may also benefit, to the extent the author is reaching buyers who would not have otherwise purchased copies of the book.

Issues to consider when reviewing contract provisions for author purchases include the following: