By Edward Nawotka
Today’s feature story discusses an exciting and innovative new business, Unglue.it, which asks an author or publisher to accept a fixed sum of money from the public for the unlimited use of an e-book. A simple and profound idea.
Authors are likely to be excited by Unglue.it’s pitch. After all, the idea of receiving a fixed fee for the rights to a book is not foreign to them — it’s what they do when they routinely sell rights to publishers.
But for publishers the situation is different. Rights are publishers primary assets. Once a publisher purchases the rights to a book, digital publishing makes it relatively low maintenance to keep the title ‘in print’ in perpetuity. Publishers make an awful lot of money from backlist sales. And you never know when a book might just become a hit.
So what could motivate them to work with Unglue.it? There are some situations where this makes sense, such as a small publisher who needs to acquire working capital, or perhaps when a publishers going out of business and will be willing to strike a bargain. But a healthy, viable, profitable publishers may be far less likely to be enticed, at least until the model proves to be a boon in a way that we can’t yet foresee.
Let us know what you think in the comments.