Rights Grab Update

The Author’s Guild sent out this notice to members today:

Simon & Schuster executives yesterday apologized for "any early miscommunication" regarding reversion of rights, according to the Association of Authors’ Representatives (the literary agents’ organization).  S&S is willing to negotiate a "revenue-based threshold" to determine whether a book is in-print, says the AAR. 

Simon & Schuster’s new position reflects substantial movement from their initial stance, but it raises many questions, including (1) whether revenues would be measured by income to the publisher or the author, (2) what level of revenues would meet the threshold, and (3) how unagented authors (particularly children’s book authors) would fare under this policy.

3 thoughts on “Rights Grab Update”

  1. *snorts* The fact that they’re willing to negotiate shows that The Author’s Guild was right on the money about the stunt they tried to pull.
    S&S thought they were going to get away with. In the words of Richard, Simon & Schiester, shame on you! It sounds like to me they aren’t changing it, just “willing to negotiate. What is there to negotiate? Just take it out! Simple as that.

  2. Everything in a contract is open to negotiation. It’s the publisher’s responsibility to advocate their own self interest, just as it’s the author’s responsibility to advocate her/his.
    It’s useful of the Author’s Guild to make sure members are aware of S&S’s new position, so that they can consider it in negotiations. I don’t see how this is an ethical question, though.
    Publishers SHOULD try to retain all the rights they can, just as authors should do the same.

  3. My earlier Simon & Scheister remark about Simon & Schuster inspired a parody called, “Simon Scheister and the Wonky Publishing Factory,” if you’d like to read it on my blog at SatoriKick.com I’m still hoping for someone to post an Oompah-Loompah verse about the lesson(s) learned!


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