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Old 12-12-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
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Who owns the ebook rights to older books?

There's an interesting article in today's NYTimes on this topic. From the article:
Quote:
On Friday, Markus Dohle, chief executive of Random House, sent a letter to dozens of literary agents, writing that the company’s older agreements gave it “the exclusive right to publish in electronic book publishing formats.”

Backlist titles, which continue to be reprinted long after their initial release, are crucial to publishing houses because of their promise of lucrative revenue year after year. But authors and agents are particularly concerned that traditional publishers are not offering sufficient royalties on e-book editions, which they point out are cheaper for publishers to produce. Some are considering taking their digital rights elsewhere, which could deal a financial blow to the hobbled publishing industry.
from:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/13/bu...er=rss&emc=rss
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:55 PM   #2
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It was also interesting to note that two judges, including an appeals court, have both ruled against Random House.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
It was also interesting to note that two judges, including an appeals court, have both ruled against Random House.
Its also interesting to note that your a nook hater
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:26 AM   #4
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In theory, writers can now publish themselves on the Amazon Kindle for a relatively small fee to Amazon.com. I guess that editing, promoting, secretarying, proofing, and validating by the establishment is quite costly for writers.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigercounter View Post
Its also interesting to note that your a nook hater
Rather strong words, there.

Care to elaborate?

I haven't seen anything in Daithi's posts to suggest such a thing.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markbot View Post
In theory, writers can now publish themselves on the Amazon Kindle for a relatively small fee to Amazon.com. I guess that editing, promoting, secretarying, proofing, and validating by the establishment is quite costly for writers.

And that's exactly what they're paying the lion's share of profits for: validation. It has nothing to do with editing, proofing and all the rest of that gumpf (picking up any recent best-seller will prove that editing and proofing are long lost concepts).

Here's a breakdown of an author's actual sales figures, from a recent article on Publetariat.com (http://www.publetariat.com/think/par...nal-publishers). These figures show his earnings with and without the publisher involved.


Ebooks from Hyperion sold on Kindle


- Earnings from Jan. 1 to June 31, 2009.

- 6 titles published on Kindle.

- Price range per book: $3.96 -$7.99

- 1237 ebooks sold in 6 months.

- Total royalties: $2008


Self-published ebooks sold on Kindle

- Earnings from Jan. 1 to June 31, 2009

- 4 titles published on Kindle.

- Price range per book: $1.99

- 9800 books sold in 6 months.

- Total earnings: $6860

***************

Last edited by Moejoe; 12-13-2009 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:01 AM   #7
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This an interesting quote
Quote:
But authors and agents are particularly concerned that traditional publishers are not offering sufficient royalties on e-book editions, which they point out are cheaper for publishers to produce.
We've had many publisher-apologists here who claim that ebooks are not really cheaper to produce. I believe that is not only intuitively nonsense, but nonsense in reality.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnageddon View Post
This an interesting quote

We've had many publisher-apologists here who claim that ebooks are not really cheaper to produce. I believe that is not only intuitively nonsense, but nonsense in reality.
It is possible that ebooks cost about the same to produce (meaning the writing, editing, and formatting) as physical books. But as techology has developed these costs have gone down. For example, the entire process can now be done electronically and the only time the book actually takes a physical form is when the final version is printed.

However, there is a difference when the book is in final form. With ebooks, there is little releasing cost (meaning no printing, packing, shipping, storage, and store sales charges) that are associated with physical books. About the only thing that ebooks require before final release is to format them for the appropriate reader.

To illustrate: a book in the public domain is available for free and is formatted for your reader. The cost of the book to you is $0.00. The same book as a printed paperback book costs $5.25 ($5.00 plus 5 percent local sales tax). In both cases, there is no production cost, but only the printed book has a releasing cost.

Just my thoughts, please feel free to correct me if I got something wrong.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigercounter View Post
Its also interesting to note that your a nook hater
what IS your issue? what kind of personal attack is this? what are your shortcomings that you feel the need to randomly off topic go after people and or readers in different threads?

why isn't this person gone?
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:46 AM   #10
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Yes, interesting article.
My primary concern at the moment is getting these books, not who sells them to me (provided it is indeed a legal source, that is).
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moejoe View Post
Here's a breakdown of an author's actual sales figures, from a recent article on Publetariat.com (http://www.publetariat.com/think/par...nal-publishers). These figures show his earnings with and without the publisher involved.
Not sure I agree with the conclusions of that article. Konrath is not a typical self published/independent author. Konrath is a commercially published author with name recognition and a commercially published back list. Yes the publisher is taking a big chunk of the money but I doubt that an author who was not in Konrath's position would be doing so well from sales. I think that in the future unless publishers start being more generous with ebook royalty rates we will see more authors in Konrath's position self publishing their backlists, new fiction they don't think can be commercially published, writing guides etc.

On the NYT article colour me surprised that publishing houses are trying to assert they own the rights to something that didn't even exist when they bought the rights. Authors & their agents are going to have to pay close attention to contracts to make sure publishers aren't buying rights for things that don't exist now but may in the future.
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:11 AM   #12
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I think it is IMPOSSIBLE for ebooks to cost the same with print books to publishers. Even if the "writing, editing, formatting" costs stay the same, there is no cost for "printing, storing, shipping" ebooks. Distributing ebooks (aka putting in on the ebooks selling websites) might still cost something, but as technology advances this will only go lower.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitaire1 View Post
It is possible that ebooks cost about the same to produce (meaning the writing, editing, and formatting) as physical books. But as techology has developed these costs have gone down. For example, the entire process can now be done electronically and the only time the book actually takes a physical form is when the final version is printed.

However, there is a difference when the book is in final form. With ebooks, there is little releasing cost (meaning no printing, packing, shipping, storage, and store sales charges) that are associated with physical books. About the only thing that ebooks require before final release is to format them for the appropriate reader.

To illustrate: a book in the public domain is available for free and is formatted for your reader. The cost of the book to you is $0.00. The same book as a printed paperback book costs $5.25 ($5.00 plus 5 percent local sales tax). In both cases, there is no production cost, but only the printed book has a releasing cost.

Just my thoughts, please feel free to correct me if I got something wrong.
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:13 AM   #13
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And your point is??

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigercounter View Post
Its also interesting to note that your a nook hater
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bminata View Post
I think it is IMPOSSIBLE for ebooks to cost the same with print books to publishers. Even if the "writing, editing, formatting" costs stay the same, there is no cost for "printing, storing, shipping" ebooks. Distributing ebooks (aka putting in on the ebooks selling websites) might still cost something, but as technology advances this will only go lower.
Not to mention the waste in resources (printing, storing, shipping, materials) with unsold pbooks. If there is a realistic and convincing argument for why any publisher would charge the same amount for an ebook that they do for a pbook, I haven't read it yet. Other than greed and slack-jawed reluctance to change.
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:53 AM   #15
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Its also interesting to note that your a nook hater
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