James Bond novels go digital, cutting out Penguin

James Bond novels go digital, cutting out Penguin

Postby Goldeneye » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:03 pm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/book ... nguin.html
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.


By Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Editor
Published: 7:00AM GMT 03 Nov 2010

The fears were raised after the estate of Ian Fleming announced that all the Bond novels are to be made available as e-books in the UK for the first time this week. But they are not being released by the author's print publisher Penguin.

Industry insiders suggested that blockbusting authors including JK Rowling, Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie would be looking at the deal closely.

The digital versions of the 007 books will be published by Ian Fleming Publications, which administers the rights to the Bond books. The 14 titles, including Dr No, Moonraker, and Diamonds Are Forever, will launch on November 4, and will be made available via online e-booksellers such as Amazon.co.uk and Waterstone.com.

The deal has come about because Penguin did not own the digital rights to the Bond novels – a concept that was never considered when Ian Fleming was writing.

There are many authors still working that have not signed away the digital rights to their books, allowing them to cut out their traditional publisher if they chose to. Agents said they had grown increasingly irritated by the low royalty rates offered by publishers for digital rights.

Philip Jones, the deputy editor of The Bookseller, the industry publication, said: “This has big implications for the established publishing houses, which are already under threat from internet retailers, who are pricing very aggressively.

“They could be missing out on millions of pounds worth of revenue in the future because they never signed up the digital rights to their authors. There are also issues around new books, with publishers insistent that digital rights have to be included as part of any deal, otherwise they could end up paying for all the marketing, while the upstart owner of the digital rights reaps the benefits.”

Earlier this year Booker winner Ian McEwan signed an exclusive deal through Amazon.com for the digital rights to his back catalogue, while in the US one literary agent has attempted to set up his own digital publishing business for those authors, including Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie, whose digital rights were unassigned.

Over 100 million Bond books have been sold since they were first published in the 1950s, with the books continuing to sell in the 100,000s each year. The Bond license is worth about £3m a year to IFP, but any deal over the Harry Potter rights would easily dwarf that. Bloomsbury, which bought the seven-part series in 1995, did not secure the digital rights at the time.

Neil Blair, partner at the Christopher Little Agency, which represents Rowling, said the agency was still in the "determining phase" of how to release the Harry Potter books digitally, but said the agency hoped to have something to announce before the final film was released in July next year.

He described the Bond news as interesting, and did not rule out discussions with Amazon or Google over the rights: "We are talking with everyone. What we've got to try and do is come up with an arrangement that suits everybody, and which makes the e-books available to as many people as possible globally."

Corinne Turner, the managing director of Ian Fleming Publications, said the deal was the best one for the Bond brand: "We are not taking on the publishers, we are just looking after the rights that we have. We have very good partnerships with the print publishers and will continue to do so." She added: "Fleming loved good, new technology, and I am sure he would have been thrilled by the idea of his books being available electronically.”


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Re: James Bond novels go digital, cutting out Penguin

Postby carl stromberg » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:47 pm

Did they do this as the Kindle editions seem to be sold by "ePenguin".

http://www.amazon.co.uk/james-bond-Kindle-Store/s?ie=UTF8&rh=n%3A341677031%2Ck%3AJames%20Bond&page=1
Bring back Bond!
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