Business and Commercial Role-Play:

Book Contract, The


Two-party, single-issue distributive negotiation between a publisher and a literary agent over the advance payment for the agent's unpublished but very promising client


Please note: you must order a copy (a.k.a. license/usage fee) for every person participating in the simulation in your course. This simulation has multiple roles, so you will be unable to complete your purchase without meeting the minimum quantity requirement of copies per role.

Read more.

PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

Close window

Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. All Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.

Bulk Pricing Discount

For bulk orders, we offer the following pricing discounts. Please note that these only apply to bulk orders of the same simulation.

  • Between 100-250 copies – 10% discount
  • Between 251-500 copies – 25% discount
  • More than 500 copies – 50% discount
Log In or Register to download the free Teacher's Package Sample.


Terry Holtz, a senior editor with a highly regarded, independent publishing firm has received a proposed book entitled Entrepreneurial Schools written by a young, up and coming, but never before published author. Terry is extremely interested in the book and is willing to pay an exceptionally high author's advance for the book. Jay McIntyre is a successful literary agent and represents Rachel Leonard, author of Entrepreneurial Schools. Jay has shown Rachel's manuscript to one other publishing firm than Terry's and has since found out that they are not interested. This coupled with Rachel's professional ambitions, which would be helped greatly by the visibility that comes with publication, has made Rachel anxious to close the deal with Terry's firm fast. She has told Jay to settle for what he can get from Terry's firm, but not to leave any money on the table.

NOTE: This exercise is analytically similar to the exercise Parker-Gibson in a different setting.



The exercise works best as a one on one exercise. Preparation should take 10-15 minutes and negotiation can take 10-30 minutes. Review and debriefing can last from 30-75 minutes.



Role specific:

  • Confidential Instructions for the Agent, Jay McIntyre
  • Confidential Instructions for the Publisher, Terry Holtz


Teacher's Package:

  • All of the above



  • This exercise is an excellent vehicle for comparing principled negotiation and positional bargaining. Depending on the skill of the other negotiator, both approaches can do well. Both parties should be risk averse, however, and wary of an adversarial approach that might get out of hand.
  • The knowledge that one's BATNA is weak often leads people to negotiate much less vigorously than they otherwise would. Is this ever justified? If so, under what conditions? The case affords a good opportunity to point out that any such analysis should be based on a consideration of the parties' relative BATNA's.
  • Since the case does have a strong competitive element, there is ample opportunity to explore techniques for indirectly and directly extracting information from the other side. Likewise, techniques of protecting oneself from "giving up" the possibility for gains that were unforeseen can be explored and discussed.



  • GE International
  • A Salary Negotiation
  • Sally Soprano
  • San Morgan Contract
  • Tendley Contract



Business; Contracts; Interpersonal



Anchoring; BATNA; Bluffing; Commitment; Confidentiality; Disclosure; Fairness; Information exchange; Meaning of "success"; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Options, generating; Precedents; Risk aversion; Trust

Book Contract, The Attributes

Time required: 30 minutes - 1 hour
Number of participants: 2
Teams involved: No
Agent present: Non-lawyer
Neutral third party present: None
Scoreable: Yes
Teaching notes available: No
Non-English version available: Spanish