Some consternation this morning about budding GN publisher Simon & Schuster and their new rights policy which would seem to indicate ownership in perpetua. PW’s Jim Milliot has more:
In a prepared statement sent out by S&S yesterday afternoon, S&S spokesperson Adam Rothberg said the company was surprised by the guild’s “overreaction,” and he gave the following explanation of S&S’s position:
“We believe that our contract appropriately addresses the improved technology, increased availability, and higher quality of print on demand books, and reflects the fact that print on demand titles may now be readily purchased by consumers at both online and brick and mortar stores. We are embracing print on demand technology as an unprecedented opportunity for authors and publishers to keep their books alive and available and selling in the marketplace in a way that may not have been previously possible for many authors, and are confident in the long term that it will be a benefit for all concerned. We would also like the author and agent community to know that, when necessary, we have always had good faith negotiations on the subject of reversions, and will continue to on a book-by-book basis.”
In its alert, the guild emphasized these points: (1) if an author signs the new contract, S&S “will say you’re wed to them. Your book will live and die with this particular conglomerate”; (2) authors are advised to explore other options, since no other publisher is seeking the irrevocable grant of rights that S&S is; and (3) if a book is being auctioned, S&S should be excluded from the proceedings unless it agrees to use standard terms.