It’s not the only time this has happened in recent months, but this time it’s a high profile brand, James Bond.
The Ian Fleming estate has announced that it are releasing all 18 Bond titles as eBooks this week on Amazon and Waterstones, but they won’t be released through their current print publisher Penguin (as they never signed for the digital rights), they will be released by themselves under the name of Ian Fleming Publishing.
Of course the publishing houses are up in arms, hitting out at the online retailers and complaining the authors have no loyalty, but they only have themselves to blame. If instead of complaining they offered equivalent royalties to their authors, then they’d retain their custom, but as long as authors can sign better deals elsewhere, then they will continue to do so.
As this article in the Telegraph highlights, JK Rowling has not signed away the digital rights of Harry Potter and is assessing their options.
“The books industry could lose out on millions of pounds because publishers have failed to sign up the digital rights to authors, who are expected to bypass traditional publishing houses in favour of Amazon or Google.”
As I’ve said before on the no paper blog, publishing houses have had a monopoly for far too long, they need to understand that it’s no longer the case, they need to embrace the sea change not fight it, as the potential eBook market is enormous… plus they should stop trying to make an outdated, centuries old business model work in a modern environment that is quickly leaving them behind, they should be jumping all over this opportunity not running from it!