7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2010 11:33 AM by the_incognito

    Tell Publisher button

    WVU77

      Do you think clicking the "tell publisher you want this book in nookbook format" does any good?  How big a production is it to get a book in ereader format?  Or is it a question of $$$

       

        • Re: Tell Publisher button

          Yes it does.  We have a dedicated team that compiles these requests.

          • Re: Tell Publisher button
            Doug_Pardee

            WVU77 wrote:

             

            How big a production is it to get a book in ereader format?


            The answer varies from book to book. There are legal, contractual, and technical issues to be addressed. The issues vary, so the amount of work varies.

             

            • Re: Tell Publisher button
              Tweedledee

              Two of the books that I requested be made available to e-pub Theodore Rex and The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt are now available to NOOK.  This was done rather rapidly as well - Thank You Barnes & Noble.

               

              I believe that they do listen and where possible the "powers that be", do try to accommodate us.

              • Re: Tell Publisher button

                 


                WVU77 wrote:

                How big a production is it to get a book in ereader format?  Or is it a question of $$$

                 


                 

                This has been discussed previously on the boards, but to expand on what Doug_Pardee said, there are a few different scenarios, in order of how easy it is to get ebooks:

                 

                1.  Books that are out of copyright:  These are usually available, often for free at sites like Project Gutenberg or google books (or even B&N).  Because they are out of copyright, anyone can scan in a book and turn it into an e-book.

                 

                2.  Books published in the last 10-15 years:  These books generally (but not always) have contracts that address digital rights.  Some authors explicitly retain those rights and refuse to allow ebooks (see one of the 17,000 threads on JK Rowling).  Otherwise it's mostly a matter of demand - publishers who have the right to create e-books pursuant to these contracts essentially need to know whether they'll recoup their costs of converting the book (note that publishers, even recently, often didn't retain electronic versions of final typeset copies of books - it's not like it's sitting on a computer in MS word).  That's where the button comes in.  If no one asks them for a book, they're not going to waste their time.  

                 

                3.  Books that fall into the mushy middle - books that are still in copyright, but that are older than 10-15 years.  These books were largely published before anyone thought to include digital rights management in the publishing contracts.  It's an open question (and is being litigated in certain circumstances) as to whether the publishers or the authors hold the rights to publish the e-books (and it might be different for each contract, depending on how the specific contract was worded).  Sometimes the publishers and authors come to a mutual agreement, but more often, publishers seem to be demanding that authors assign whatever rights they retain on this front without additional compensation.  Needless to say, at least some authors are balking at this (litigation!).  Some authors are allowing their works to be published by third parties before this gets cleared up, which their DTB publishers are balking at (more litigation!).  Some authors of books in this time period also take the JK Rowling approach (Salinger, Harper Lee) and refuse to allow their books as e-books "on principle".  

                 

                So...that's the short version.  This summer, Brian Lehrer did a few radio shows on the future of the publishing industry, and they covered a lot of this ground.  They're probably available at wnyc.com.

                  • Re: Tell Publisher button
                    Doug_Pardee

                    very-simple wrote:

                     

                    Some authors of books in this time period also take the JK Rowling approach (Salinger, Harper Lee) and refuse to allow their books as e-books "on principle".  


                    An extremely minor point: J. D. Salinger was against publication of his works in any form, because he felt that he lost privacy with it. In any event, he did write a number of other works, and after he passed away earlier this year those manuscripts were found tagged as to which were ready for immediate publication, and what the other ones would need to get ready for publication.

                     

                    So my take-away was that being thrown in the public eye by Catcher in the Rye must've freaked him out, but he figured once he was gone he wouldn't be bothered by publication any more. I'm guessing that once his estate is all squared away and contracts can be negotiated, we'll be seeing a number of his works appearing both in print and e-book. That's just my guess.

                     

                    I suppose there's a reason it's called publication.