Sunday, December 14, 2008

Filed by Author...

In a clever move, our old friends Peter Clifton and Mike Shatzkin have created http//

Today it is a database of information filed by authors and has obviously taken a major aggregation which includes some 1.2 million authors and dusted it down and created a page per author web site. Author’s registrar, claim their page, validate themselves and then populate their details adding, pictures, podcasts, videos etc. As this is merely a database ‘filed by author’ all the book details are already there tagged to the author. Today it deals with the US and Canada tomorrow the world. Today the books are listed tomorrow linked.

So where does this go and where is the money?

In some respect it’s a pity that the Author’s guild or copyright agency hadn’t thought this out and done it first. Another likely candidate would have been the bibliographic agencies who already have the information but can only often see it ‘filed by books’ or even ‘filed by ISBN’.

So the obvious revenue is in linked sales and no doubt author’s will be able to choose where their sales go on a cascading system or at least opt out of suppliers. The list management value grows with adoption and added information so sales of the list will make money as many list opt outs are often missed in the small print.
The big question is where it will sit with the new Google built and funded rights database and whether it will compete with, or feed the beast?

But we take our hats off for them getting first past the post. We imagine we will soon get filed by genre, filed by ebook, filed by whatever.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the mention. I'm working with Peter Clifton doing PR for the FiledBy launch.

I think you're right that you have to wonder why someone didn't do this already. If Authors Guild had done it, they would likely limit pages it to member authors. That's the same problem that hampers author web sites hosted by publishers: if the site isn't part of a all-inclusive portal, it's hard to justify maintenance costs.

I think you have to have ALL authors to get the girth you need to make the site important enough to maintain. The costs of working with a database that large are enough to scare off most programmers.

I believe the concept of the site dovetails wonderfully with the new Google Books initiative. The copyright settlement means that anyone can display an author's entire book without advance permission as long as there is a revenue set aside. We live in interesting times. Thanks for the coverage.

for FiledBy, Inc.

Victoria Strauss said...

The copyright settlement means that anyone can display an author's entire book without advance permission as long as there is a revenue set aside.

If you're talking about the recent Google Book settlement, that's absolutely not what it means. I find it disturbing that someone associated with an author- and book-related website would make such a basic error.

Anonymous said...

Claire Cameron ( made the astute observation that Bowker is involved in filedby -- This in the small print: Portions of filedbyauthor data is supplied by Global Books in print ® Copyright 2008 R.R. Bowker LLC.

Anonymous said...


My interpretation of the recent Google Books settlement is that it allows Google to display books (such as mine) without the copyright holder's consent (such as mine) and display ads next to my content (which they do now) without paying me anything, as long as they set aside a portion of the ad revenue they collect in case someday I decide to complain.

I haven't read the whole settlement, so I might be wrong. I'm anxious to hear your take on it and how my interpretation is in error.

Author and Copyright Owner
Publicity on the Internet
PR Rep for FiledBy, Inc.

Victoria Strauss said...


Whether Google can display a book without permission depends on whether the book is in the public domain, in print, or out of print. Depending on various factors, authors are entitled to revenue generated from Google's display and sale of their books. All of this will be adminstered by a Registry, which Google will pay to establish. There's full information, including claim forms, at the Google Book Settlement website. (Note that the settlement has not yet been approved by the court.)

What I took exception to was your assertion that the settlement meant that "anyone" could display an author's entire book. That isn't so. The settlement applies only to Google. And if a book isn't in the public domain, authors and publishers can remove it from Google if they want.