Best-selling author sells book rights to Amazon
Self-help guru Steven Covey has shocked the publishing world by selling the digital rights to two of his books directly to Amazon.
The deal means Covey bypasses his traditional publisher, Simon & Schuster, signalling a dynamic shift in the author publisher relationship.
The two books – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Principle-Centered Leadership – have been available for some time in paperback and hardback format. However, the electronic versions will now be available exclusively through Amazon for a year.
Our position is that electronic editions of our backlist titles belong in the Simon & Schuster catalog
According to The New York Times, which first reported the story, Covey will take over half the revenues earned from sales, considerably more than the standard 25% doled out by publishers for eBook editions.
The trend towards selling eBook rights to third-party publishing houses has become a hot topic in the publishing world, with the estates of John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut and Virginia Woolf claiming that contracts for their works do not apply to electronic copies.
This being the case, they reside with the author and can be sold separately from the paper rights.
Unsurprisingly, the publishers disagree. “Our position is that electronic editions of our backlist titles belong in the Simon & Schuster catalogue, and we intend to protect our interests in those publications,” the publisher says in a statement.