How do authors retain certain rights (read below)?

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Rachel Ventura
Posts: 152
Joined: September 30th, 2011, 12:29 am

How do authors retain certain rights (read below)?

Post by Rachel Ventura » November 20th, 2011, 10:51 pm

1) Much as I'm a proponent of innovation and freedom of expression, I still tend to hang on to the traditional media of printed books, and I know that if I were ever published I would not want my work in ebook format. I understand this probably sounds like I'm trying to party like it's 1899, but still:

J.K. Rowling, for years, adamantly refused to release the Harry Potter series in digital format. Only recently has she decided to make the books available for e-readers, but exclusively through her site Pottermore rather than the major marketplaces (Amazon, B&N, etc.). Not sure how this will turn out/has already for her, but with someone like Rowling it's kind of a moot point. A young up-and-comer, meanwhile, I would think face more of an uphill battle for creative control.

So maybe if there are any legal experts on the board (and please no criticism about being a Luddite of the "digital natives" generation ;) ), is it possible for newer authors to retain digital rights and still allow the publishers to print the books, i.e. retaining the digital rights so as to prevent one's work from going digital? And if so, how is this done? I tried looking this up (lol, online, ironically), and there's little to no mention of retaining the rights for that reason, rather so that one may distribute e-books as s/he sees fit, without influence from the pub. co. I can't find anything about excluding or prohibiting digital formats entirely. :(

2) Also, kind of on the same subject, is it possible to prevent my work from ever being "taught" in school? I hated school, hated all the books I had to read for assignments, and actually would never read them again, even in my spare time. And I'd hate for anything I'd written to be thwarted by becoming "educational materials" (yuck) rather than fun YA/kids' stuff that I write. I'm coming to realize that teachers are actually using Twilight, The Hunger Games, even the Potter novels as part of the curriculum! I could never see myself supporting this, and I want to know how I would go about preventing dumb schoolteachers from using my books for dreaded pop quizzes and b.s. snoozefest "literary criticism." I'd have no problem if someone (a kid, like me) wants to read it for a project, but don't ever mandate that anyone have to write a (gasp!) PAPER on something fun that I wrote. Is this possible too, and if so how is it done? :|

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