Non-Disclosure Agreements – Three Great Reasons You Should Use One


Have you heard of an NDA form? NDA stands for non-disclosure agreement and is a contract between two parties to ensure that sensitive information is not shared.


You may never need to use this kind of form as an author. However, in this post, I want to share three reasons authors should consider using an NDA form when hiring outsourcers to work on your book.

Personally, I believe it is better to be safe, than sorry.

In general, within an NDA form the person you hire agrees:

  • To use your book manuscript for the sole purpose of their job. That means they will not sell your book contents.
  • You maintain full copyright to your work and they cannot claim ownership of it.
  • They will not disclose the contents of your book or share it with anyone else.

Having a non-disclosure agreement is especially important when you self-publish or independently publish your book through your own publishing company.

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Three reasons to consider using an NDA form as an author

1 – When Working With an Editor

As you know, having your book professionally edited is important. With the ease of publishing, more and more books are published every day. So naturally, there is a lot of competition for your target reader’s attention…and their money.

If your book is not well-edited, your readers may not only leave bad reviews, but may never buy another book from you again.

First impressions are important!

However, once you hire an editor, you will be sending your entire manuscript to them. This means they will have full access to the text you have worked on for hours, days, months, and possibly even years.

Even if you know your editor well, I recommend having them sign a non-disclosure agreement. This protects you and your work from being shared or stolen during the editing process.

2 – When Hiring a Translator

I believe every author should consider translating their book into other languages. Not only does it have the potential to impact even more people with the message of your book, but it can also diversify your income.

I had my best-selling book, “21 Prayers of Gratitude” translated into Spanish last year. After doing some research, I decided to hire a translator on Elance.

She had high ratings, had good work history, and sent me samples of her work. However, before I hired her, I asked her to sign an NDA. She happily agreed and did a great job for me.

3 – When Working With Contractors

Throughout the publishing process, you may hire other contractors to help you. Depending on the situation and the access they will have to your copyrighted material, you may want to have them also sign an NDA.

How to Use an NDA

Required disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and am not giving you legal advice. I recommend you consult with your lawyer when drawing up contracts in your business.

I have used NDA forms in my author business and want to share with you the steps I have taken. It is easy and simple as follows:

  1. Decide what you want to include in your NDA. If you are interested, I have a template of the NDA form I have used with contractors available here.
  2. Create an NDA in your word processing software.
  3. Save it as a PDF.
  4. Send it to your editor, translator, or contractor via e-mail.
  5. Have them print it off, sign it, scan it, and send it back to you via e-mail.
  6. Print it off, sign it, scan it, and send the final signed copy back to your contractor.
  7. Keep a copy of the signed NDA on file. Hopefully you will never need to use it!

Note: You can also use a service like DocuSign to make the process easier.


A non-disclosure agreement is simply one more way to protect your work from being copied, shared, or stolen. It is a contract both parties sign; however, it adds an extra layer of protection for you as an author.

Since it is easy to create and put in place, I recommend you consider using NDA forms in your business.

 Your Thoughts?

Have you ever used an NDA in your business? If so, when did you use it? Did you find it helpful?

Shelley Hitz
Shelley Hitz is an award-winning and internationally best-selling author. She is the owner of and is passionate about helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing their books. And she teaches from personal experience. Shelley has been writing and publishing books since 2008 and has published over 30 books including print, eBook and audio book formats. She consistently ranks in the top 100 authors for her category on
Shelley Hitz
Shelley Hitz


  1. Great artucle Shelley:
    NDA’s are common in any sort of business that requires 2nd or 3rd party use of personal intellectual property. This applies to manufacturing as well as publishing. An example is the discosure statement in the front of a book related to additional media usage only through express authority of the author, or publisher. The Reader simply purchases the right to Read the book, but NOT the right to reprint, or reproduce the content in any form of media, whether a paragraph or page.

    Stay well… Warren.