12 December 2005

Not So Fast

Well, it's not just rumor any more: Harper-Collins has decided that it's not restricted by its own contracts. As PW notes in the online version,

While HC's files will be open to Google, Amazon, Microsoft and any other companies that want to promote HC books, HC avoided the question of how it plans to make money on the initiative. "Today's focus is not on how we can monetize these files," Murray said, although he acknowledged that at some point HC could develop a plan on how to sell its content itself. "We've been frustrated that Amazon and Google could move faster than us to develop new business models," Murray said. While no one is sure how the sale of book material will develop, the creation of the digital warehouse "makes us better prepared to respond to business opportunities," Murray said.

"HC Moves to Create Digital Warehouse" (12 Dec 2005). Might I suggest that y'all should read your contracts to see if you have the right to do that? I'm looking at three HarperCollins contracts right now (for books that are in print) that explicitly reserve electronic publishing rights to the authors.