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Old 03-31-2009, 12:21 AM   #3
Elsi
Wizard
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Location: Texas, USA
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What you have experienced is a legacy of the way that print books are sold. An author (or the author's agent) will sell the US rights to one publisher, the UK rights to another, the German rights to another, the Australian rights to another, and so forth. Then, the electronic rights often get sold separately from the print rights -- usually in the same fragmented way. I think the original reason for doing this was related to the cost of shipping books from presses in the US to stores in Europe. Then it evolved into a way of making more money for the author and his or her agent by negotiating separate deals. By now, it's simply entrenched -- even though the publishers now have the ability to ship print-ready electronic files to a press close to the point of distribution, and the Internet doesn't respect boundaries. (Though my friend in China told me today that the Chinese government is now blocking all access to You Tube.)
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