Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > General Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-11-2010, 01:16 AM   #1
Gannett
Junior Member
Gannett began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 7
Karma: 10
Join Date: Oct 2010
Device: none
Electronic versions of out-of-print paperbacks

I own hundreds of old paperbacks, mainly British mystery and science fiction from between the 50s to the 70s, and I would guess most are out of print. I wonder whether there would be any interest in converting some of these to electronic formats.

I have converted one book, and am beginning another conversion. I enjoy doing it, it's more time-consuming than difficult.

Most of the books are in copyright, so I wouldn't be able to offer them for free. Does anyone think it would be worth offering these to rights holders to see if there would be any interest there? If ther were, would they be likely to buy the ebook? How should I approach the rights holders? Would it be worth approaching ebook retailers like Amazon with electronic versions of out-of-print books?
Gannett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 01:22 AM   #2
GA Russell
Calgary wins Grey Cup!
GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
GA Russell's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,578
Karma: 13285385
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Device: jetBook Lite, Kindle 4
Great idea! I imagine there are many heirs who would consider their royalties to be pennies from heaven and would encourage you to do it.

My guess would be that the hardest part would be identifying all of the rights holders. For example, you might need the cooperation of eight grandchildren of a long-deceased author, and tracking them down and getting all of them to approve your proposed payment arrangement might be quite a chore.
GA Russell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 02:28 PM   #3
nyrath
Addict
nyrath reads XML... blindfoldednyrath reads XML... blindfoldednyrath reads XML... blindfoldednyrath reads XML... blindfoldednyrath reads XML... blindfoldednyrath reads XML... blindfoldednyrath reads XML... blindfoldednyrath reads XML... blindfoldednyrath reads XML... blindfoldednyrath reads XML... blindfoldednyrath reads XML... blindfolded
 
nyrath's Avatar
 
Posts: 281
Karma: 52007
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: nook
Especially since it is common for the grandchildren's eyes to light up with greed when approached on the subject. I believe there are several such novels that the publishers want to re-print, but the heirs want far to much money for the rights.
nyrath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 03:31 PM   #4
Sweetpea
Grand Sorcerer
Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Sweetpea's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,071
Karma: 22730000
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Krewerd
Device: AVTN8; BBMini; Onyx Boox T68; SGN8
Another example why the current copyright laws are so completely wrong...
Sweetpea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 04:02 PM   #5
SensualPoet
Wizard
SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SensualPoet ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
SensualPoet's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,295
Karma: 2607151
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Toronto
Device: Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura HD, Kindle Wifi, Nexus 7 (2013), Samsung Tab 10.1
Erle Stanley Gardner -- author of the Perry Mason novels -- 72 of them -- not a single one available (legally) as an ebook -- and a fraction -- under 5? -- in print. Drives me bonkers. These would continue to sell as backlist items and could be reissued with prefaces from lawyers, actors, writers who continue to admire Gardner's Perry Mason character.
SensualPoet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 04:29 PM   #6
theducks
Grand Sorcerer
theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.theducks ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
theducks's Avatar
 
Posts: 15,270
Karma: 6022733
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: (The original) Silicon Valley, USA
Device: Galaxy Tab 2, Astak Pocket Pro, K4NT
Baen has many titles (some are in the free library) that are not economically re-printable, still available in e-form
theducks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 05:49 PM   #7
kevinp
Fanatic
kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kevinp ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
kevinp's Avatar
 
Posts: 553
Karma: 3549018
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Orlando
Device: Nook HD+; Kindle for Android on HTC One SV
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannett View Post
Most of the books are in copyright, so I wouldn't be able to offer them for free. Does anyone think it would be worth offering these to rights holders to see if there would be any interest there? If ther were, would they be likely to buy the ebook? How should I approach the rights holders? Would it be worth approaching ebook retailers like Amazon with electronic versions of out-of-print books?
I think they would view you as a criminal unfortunately. You'll find in a lot of books the following warning:

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
kevinp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
MR. Pockets
Addict
MR. Pockets has a spectacular aura aboutMR. Pockets has a spectacular aura aboutMR. Pockets has a spectacular aura aboutMR. Pockets has a spectacular aura aboutMR. Pockets has a spectacular aura aboutMR. Pockets has a spectacular aura aboutMR. Pockets has a spectacular aura aboutMR. Pockets has a spectacular aura aboutMR. Pockets has a spectacular aura aboutMR. Pockets has a spectacular aura aboutMR. Pockets has a spectacular aura about
 
Posts: 215
Karma: 4320
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Idaho, USA
Device: Kobo Touch, Aluratek Libre Pro, Sharper Image Literati
But if he owns a physical copy, can't he make an electronic copy for his own use if he wants?
MR. Pockets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 06:39 PM   #9
Ralph Sir Edward
Gentleman & Cynic
Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Ralph Sir Edward's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,725
Karma: 13899548
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: 5 generation native Texan
Device: BeBook/Openinkpot, CYbook 3rd gen awaiting RTF software upgrade
Wink

Also consider age of death and jurisdictional issues.

For example Erle Stanley Gardener died in 1970. In a Life + 50 jurisdiction, his work go Public Domain, Jan 1, 2021. However, in Life + 70, it's 2041.

You can get into the situation where it's illegal for you to scan the work, but legal for somebody to post is in another jurisdiction. Sort of like the Hollywood blacklist, where a screenwriter couldn't work as a screenwriter, but did so anyway, using a front man...

And there are a lot of authors falling in this gap. Some examples -

Emilie Loring - Romance (died 1951) (all her non-ghosted - pre '51 are available for scanning in Life + 50.)

Zane Grey - American Westerns (died 1939) All of his works are available for scanning in Life + 50 and 70, but not all are scanned yet.

James Branch Cabell - fantasy (died 1958) Available for scanning in Life + 50. The same for most of American writers famous in the 1920's, H.L. Mencken, Joseph Hergseheimer, among others.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator - Lefevre - (died 1943) classic book about Jessie Livermore - Stock Speculator.

And on, And on....

Quite truthfully, you could spend a lifetime scanning P.D. works....

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 10-11-2010 at 06:43 PM.
Ralph Sir Edward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 06:41 PM   #10
K-Thom
Wizard
K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.K-Thom ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,302
Karma: 535819
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Berlin, Germany
Device: yup!
Depends on the country.

Also, copying is one legal issue. Distributing them something else. Is it really worth investing hours of work merely for your own joy if you already own the paperbacks?
K-Thom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 07:28 PM   #11
CazMar
Book Geek
CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CazMar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 595
Karma: 1499085
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Device: IRiver Story HD, Asus MemPad 7" tablet, Nexus 5, Asus 10" tablet
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Thom View Post
Depends on the country.

Also, copying is one legal issue. Distributing them something else. Is it really worth investing hours of work merely for your own joy if you already own the paperbacks?
Probably the issue here is more of "do the owners want an electronic version produced"?
There must be a lot of books from the 50's and 60's made prior to electronic typesetting which need to be properly digitised. If a publisher wanted to reprint an old book they could do so by negotiating with the legal copyright holders. Why not approach a publishing house and try to do a deal where you do the scanning and presentation work and take a cut of any profits? They probably use freelance subcontractors to do cover illustrations etc so it would fit in with their usual business model.
CazMar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 08:41 PM   #12
GA Russell
Calgary wins Grey Cup!
GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
GA Russell's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,578
Karma: 13285385
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Device: jetBook Lite, Kindle 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by CazMar View Post
Probably the issue here is more of "do the owners want an electronic version produced"?
There must be a lot of books from the 50's and 60's made prior to electronic typesetting which need to be properly digitised. If a publisher wanted to reprint an old book they could do so by negotiating with the legal copyright holders. Why not approach a publishing house and try to do a deal where you do the scanning and presentation work and take a cut of any profits? They probably use freelance subcontractors to do cover illustrations etc so it would fit in with their usual business model.
CazMar, it's not likely that the paper book's publisher has the rights to publish the eBook edition. If the rights need to be obtained from the heirs, why cut the publisher in on it?
GA Russell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 10:47 PM   #13
Lady Fitzgerald
Wizard
Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lady Fitzgerald ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Lady Fitzgerald's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,013
Karma: 251649
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Tempe, AZ, USA, Earth
Device: JetBook Lite (away from home) + 1 spare, 32" TV (at home)
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Thom View Post
Depends on the country.

Also, copying is one legal issue. Distributing them something else. Is it really worth investing hours of work merely for your own joy if you already own the paperbacks?
Depends. In my case it is worth the time and the expense for the equipment because I will not otherwise have room for any of my books in the not too distant future. I am cheating, however, and just scanning to PDF and not bothering with OCR and the tedious, time consuming editing that goes with it.
Lady Fitzgerald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 11:36 PM   #14
Gannett
Junior Member
Gannett began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 7
Karma: 10
Join Date: Oct 2010
Device: none
Thanks.

Thanks for your replies. You all make some very interesting points.

I (rather naively) assumed I could offer electronic version of a particular work to a rights-holder (if they can be traced) or their agent. Electronic books seem to be gaining popularity now, moving away from the scanned PDFs of the last 10 years or so, and I was prepared to put the work in and, with the agreement of the copyright hlders, distribute them.

But reading your posts I'm wondering if, apart from preserving some yellowing 40-year old paperback for the future, it's really worth the effort. Hypothetically speaking, of course, I could make these works available for all and sundry, so they wouldn't have to spend hours in dusty second-hand shops, but in reality I would not want to breach copyright laws!

Oh well, it was worth thinking about, I suppose.
Gannett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 11:46 PM   #15
GA Russell
Calgary wins Grey Cup!
GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GA Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
GA Russell's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,578
Karma: 13285385
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Device: jetBook Lite, Kindle 4
Well, Gannett, I suppose it may be a matter of how easy it is for you to do the work. In theory, you could go ahead and make the eBook and offer it for sale, and then wait for anyone to object. And the individual/entity who objects would have to prove that he has the rights.

At that point, you could happily withdraw the eBook from the market and begin negotiations. And if they refuse to meet your price, they would be forced to make their own eBooks.

The one issue that comes to mind with that scenario is that I suspect that popular websites like Amazon and Smashwords require proof that you have the right to publish the eBook before they will list it. But that may not be right. And even if it is, you could start your own website.

It would just depend on how much effort each eBook requires, knowing that odds are that some of them will come to naught.
GA Russell is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Old Paperbacks bobavey Reading Recommendations 7 10-06-2010 08:48 AM
Print vs Pixel: retailers experiment with print/ebook bundles DMcCunney General Discussions 42 09-15-2010 12:29 PM
Digitising Paperbacks Iain General Discussions 27 07-11-2010 06:45 AM
Print versions and multiple feed sources msgnfg Calibre 0 01-12-2010 03:07 AM
Sur Amazon, des versions électroniques plus chères que les versions papier IreneDelse Amazon Kindle 8 08-29-2008 09:35 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:08 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.