A new deal between the massive virtual bookshop Amazon.com and a division of one of the world’s oldest publishing companies is interesting.
Last week, the Wylie Agency, which is part of the two century-year-old global publishing company John Wiley & Sons, announced that it had struck a deal with Amazon, and via its new publishing arm called Odyssey Editions, was set to distribute at least 20 new “ebooks”. These are not ebooks in the sense of information products, but the release of classic books in digital format.
In other words, publishers are shoveling their back catalogues online.
When these back catalogue editions books were written, electronic rights were unheard of, and the Internet was an unknown factor. However there is a school of thought that maintains that unless the author has specifically granted rights to a publisher, he or she will retain them.
So what does this have to do with you?
Right now it won’t worry you, unless you are a published author who isn’t covered by a contract that prevents the publisher from claiming electronic rights. Fortunately all the appropriate contracts I have do contain the right electronic media clauses.
I released the Write A Book Collection to show you that these days, you need to sell all your books in ebook form first, so that you keep electronic rights, and no one can talk you out of them.
If the short ebook version of your book is successful and there’s a publisher offer, then and only then, should you consider signing a publishing contract.
Publishers are sharp. I remember one contract an acquisitions editor sent me, in which the publisher claimed copyright to the book. It gave me the giggles, but it also annoyed me no end — it must have done, since I can still remember the incident a couple of decades later.
That was easily corrected, I just struck out the clause in the contract. But it was an excellent warning to me to be constantly vigilant, because publishers will grab any rights that they can, and once you sign your name, you can’t say: “But I didn’t mean to give you THAT!”
The Write A Book Collection — the ultimate toolbox for writing and selling your books
These days it’s crazy to spend years writing a book, without having any idea as to whether or not you can make money from it. If you want to write, you can – you have a global market, which is hungry for information and entertainment. And YOU can provide it… even if you’re a brand new author.
As you may know, I write and sell many writing guides. I also sell information products in many other areas than writing.
I want to show you how you can do the same, if you wish. Your dreams of writing a book can be the spark which changes your life.
I’ve collected everything I know about writing and selling your books into my brand new Write A Book Collection: it’s the ultimate toolbox for anyone who wants to write and sell books in 2010 and beyond.