Amazon - publishing e-books without rights?

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Doug Pardee
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Joined: February 18th, 2011, 6:56 pm

Amazon - publishing e-books without rights?

Post by Doug Pardee » August 31st, 2012, 11:21 am

Author Brian Keene is charging that Amazon is publishing some of his books — Dead Sea, Urban Gothic, Castaways, Darkness on the Edge of Town, and others — in Kindle format without any right to do so. Publishing rights for those titles, in both paperback and e-book formats, have been assigned to Deadite Press.

Keene says that Amazon had been carrying the legal Deadite-published versions but now the Kindle versions are shown as being published by Leisure, which was part of Dorchester before Dorchester went bust. Amazon has purchased the rights to Dorchester's backlist. Keene says he got the e-book rights for his works back from Dorchester almost two years ago, and those rights are decidedly not part of Dorchester's backlist that Amazon bought.

Keene suspects that Dorchester sold rights they didn't have, and Amazon didn't properly investigate what they were getting. On the other hand, royalties are still flowing to Deadite, so perhaps it's just a listing error. Also, the Amazon announcement (linked above) says that they'll be publishing under their own imprints, so Keene's horror stories should say they were published by 47North if they did come from Amazon.

Just one more piece of the Dorchester mess. Keene says, "Never make your living as a writer, kids. Stay in school. Become a nurse or an HVAC technician or a truck driver."

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Re: Amazon - publishing e-books without rights?

Post by Mira » August 31st, 2012, 11:53 pm

I imagine there is a HUGE mess, but I'm equally sure it's Dorchester's mess that Amazon is picking up.

Amazon is being extremely fair to the authors it picked up. It is either paying back royalties due and offering an opportunity for them to publish with them, or reverting rights to the authors.

See the article here: ... orchester/

This is generous of them; they don't have to do either thing. I'm sure if Keene contacts them, they'll work it out. They are clearly interested in public opinion and are taking a very high road here.

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