However, I now represent over 200 authors from around the world on my website The Corporate Toolbox and because I prefer the books on my site to be in downloadable form (e-books), it staggers me the number of authors who have signed away their ‘e' rights to a publisher. They have literally handed their book over to a publisher and have lost all say in what happens next.
With all my authors I urge them NOT TO GIVE THEIR DIGITAL RIGHTS TO A PUBLISHER - ever!
Firstly they won't use them cos mostly they don't know how to - they just don't want the author using them it seems.
And secondly if you keep your e-rights - while the publisher is marketing your hard copy book you can be breaking your book down into e-books, audios, video, podcasts etc. etc. and probably making more money that way than you will ever make through a publisher.
Please don't get me wrong, I think it is great to have a book published - they get profile for an author they could never get for themselves; they get authors into the bookshops and other places the author wouldn't have a hope of being be able to reach.
The sad thing is that publishers don't realise there is a win/win here if only they could give up their ‘old' thinking.
If publishers concentrated on what they do best - printing and distribution of the hard copy product, and if they let the author concentrate on the e-stuff do you think both parties would sell more? Of course they would.
One of my authors took my advice and in negotiation with a publisher said 'I can't give you my e-rights' which was probably a huge shock to the publisher given that this was her first book. They negotiated hard -and said point blank that they couldn't do that. Fortunately this author had the savvy to say - fine - you can have the e-rights for ONE YEAR but if you haven't used them, then they revert to me.
And then she signed! Well done.
So if you are a budding author; if you now have your manuscript ready to send around to the various publishers, know that they don't have horns - they have a business to run too.
But DON'T GIVE AWAY YOUR E-RIGHTS. Ever.
Ann Andrews CSP is the founder of The Corporate Toolbox; an online business training company created to source great downloadable business material from around the world and market it to a business audience.