The phenomenon of music and video piracy has been around seemingly since the Internet’s invention — it’s a well-known scourge that has driven the recording industry to pricey lawsuits and the rest of the world to Pirate Bay and BitTorrent.
But it seems that book publishing has a new issue on its hands: the viral book PDF.
After a monthlong standoff, Random House said on Tuesday that it now held the rights to publish e-book editions of 13 classic books that the literary agent Andrew Wylie had defiantly begun publishing last month under his own digital venture, Odyssey Editions.
Random House also said it would immediately resume doing new business with the Wylie Agency. Since July 22, the publisher has refused to acquire new books from the Wylie Agency and its more than 700 clients.
“We are pleased to announce that the Wylie Agency and Random House have resolved our differences over the disputed Random House titles which have been included in the Odyssey Editions e-book publishing program,” said a joint statement signed by Markus Dohle, the chairman and chief executive of Random House, and Mr. Wylie. It added: “We both are glad to be able to put this matter behind us.”
In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.
Publishing falls into the modern world of business, and it’s always benefiting through and from creative original thinkers (one hopes).
The mediocre writer who can sell is usually more successful than the talented writer who cannot. Aside from all other hard truths about publishing, this is the one that many writers find most difficult to accept.
The experience of Cecilia Tan, Founder/Publisher, Circlet Press via Digital Book World:
I gave a talk as part of a panel in the Bookbuilders of Boston / Emerson College “Gutenberg to Google” series of presentations on the ebook r/evolution. I promised I’d put it online later for those who missed it, and here it is — my take on “discoverability” and how this key principle is behind three of the hot button issues facing publishers going digital, namely:
1) the transition from physical retail marketplace to the online marketplace
2) the importance of social media and author involvement
3) Piracy! Yarrr!
I didn’t get into ebooks and place myself on the cutting edge of new book technology because I thought ebooks were really cool and I wanted to be where the action was. No, I was essentially FORCED to become an expert on ebooks or my company was dead in the water. I founded Circlet Press in 1992, way back before a little thing we refer to now as “The Returns Crisis.”
The rise of self-publishing has made it possible for anyone to be an author. Now, some people are also choosing to outsource their book project by hiring an author services company.
On the surface, this seems much easier than finding and hiring a half-dozen professionals to create your book. (For background on the self-publishing industry and author services companies, please read my previous MediaShift article.) But is it worth it? Below are some of the potential danger zones of working with these services, as exposed by authors who were seduced by the promises of quick and easy self-publishing packages. I also offer some advice about avoiding these pitfalls.
Could book publishers suddenly be in the position of telling Google what to do?
With the impending arrival of digital books on the AppleiPad and feverish negotiations with Amazon.com over e-book prices, publishers have managed to take some control — at least temporarily — of how much consumers pay for their content.
Now, as publishers enter discussions with the Web giant Google about its plan to sell digital versions of new books direct to consumers, they have a little more leverage than just a few weeks ago — at least when it comes to determining how Google will pay publishers for those e-books and how much consumers will pay for them.
I had just posted a link to an article on E-Book rights. There seems to be a lot going on in this area. More today on this subject from the NY Times:
Ever since electronic books emerged as a major growth market, New York’s largest publishing houses have worried that big-name authors might sign deals directly with e-book retailers or other new ventures, bypassing traditional publishers entirely.