The publishing business, which has remained relatively stable for many years, is suddently facing changes. E books have finally gained a foothold in the market, giving rise to questions about royalty rates, wholesale and retail pricing and copyright protection. Distribution models are changing, with internet retailers, chain bookstores and mass market retailers continuing to capture an ever-increasing share of the market, and continuing to exert downward pressure on retail, and ultimately, wholesale prices.
In light of the changing landscape, publishers need to ensure that their house agreements remain up to date In light of the changing landscape, publishers need to ensure that their house agreements remain up to date, and that they have distribution systems in place which will allow them to reach all of their potential markets at a reasonable cost. Authors need to seek out the best home for their books, while keeping in mind that today's best seller is likely to end up in tomorrow's remainder bin.
Publishers and authors both have an interest in getting permissions and releases when needed, and in avoiding any claims for copyright or trademark infringement, infringement of rights of privacy or publicity, defamation and personal injury. Also, given that books frequently have life beyond their initial form, publishers and authors need to be positioned to take advantage of opportunities to license translation, audiobook, film, merchandise and other subsidiary rights.