It’s Memorial Day weekend, which means that if you’re reading this in your office you probably don’t work in publishing. Oh, I kid, people in publishing LOVE working on Fridays before holidays. It’s their favoritist thing. (for the record I’m in my office)
More and more on Out of Print-gate. Simon & Schuster sent out a strongly worded defense of its position, in which it accused the Authors Guild of “perpetrat[ing] serious misinformation,” then went on to describe its position…. without actually contradicting anything in the Authors Guild’s letter. Just this morning, the Authors Guild struck back with a followup letter in which they categorically state “We stand by every word of our previous statement,” and also provide this nugget:
“Agents reported to us that Simon & Schuster had slipped the change into its contracts without alerting agents to the alteration, which was quite subtle and easily missed. Agents also reported that when they discovered the change and questioned the publisher about it, Simon & Schuster played hardball, saying the clause was non-negotiable and wouldn’t be discussed.”
The Authors Guild concludes: “We welcome and will take Simon & Schuster up on its offer to discuss this matter. We hope to report soon that it has rejoined the ranks of publishers who behave as responsible stewards of their authors’ copyrights.”
As Omar from The Wire would say, “Oh inDEED.”
Meanwhile, S&S forces in the UK are mobilizing to follow the lead of S&S US, and plan on instituting the same changes in the UK. I imagine this will be roughly as popular in England as calling football “soccer.”
In other parts of the publishing world, agent Jonathan Lyons of the eponymous agency has some very good advice on whether you should copyright your work before you start submitting it. You can tell Jonathan has a law degree because he begins his post with a disclaimer that prevents you from suing him.
BEA is coming up (there’s a handy countdown clock on the BEA website: 5 days 14:57:53 hours to go!). As previously mentioned, I’m not attending. If you are going, if you could please send me back a postcard, a bagel from Bagels on the Park, a pizza from DiFara, and a bottle of that humid, dank subway air, I’d be eternally grateful.
And finally, in a very innnnteresting move, Amazon bought independent audio publisher Brilliance Audio, marking the first time they’ve acquired a company that licenses intellectual content. Harriet Klausner is typing a review of Brilliance Audio as we speak.
Have a great weekend!