Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This Book Is Only Available At....

We read about exclusive deals with retailers, exculsive deals with digital devices, exclusive releases that are only initially available via one source, whatever. So what’s is an exclusive publication and an exclusive right?

There is nothing wrong with an exclusive deals, after all publishing is based on exclusive rights deals. An author sells their rights to a publisher, often via an exclusive agent relationship. The publisher creates an exclusive manifestation of the work which he then sells through multiple channels or in some cases through exclusive channels. So why shouldn’t a retailer secure an exclusive deal?

In music we have seen some examples and in film distribution deals are often exclusive.

There are two things that are starting to happen as it becomes easier to publish and critically easier to promote and sell works. One is that like music the creator can effectively cut out the middle man. It will not work for many but if you were a A or B list author, you could cut a deal direct on an exclusive basis. This is already happening in music today. Secondly if a publisher cuts an time-lined exclusive deal, then it is fair to assume that all parties will probably work hard at making it work and as a result, when the exclusivity expires, the better the chance of increasing sales in the wider market. Some would suggest scarcity of supply actually adds value.

We would expect large players such as Amazon and the large chains to push for more exclusive deals. It is easy to envisage ebook deals to be exclusive, maybe to a format, maybe a device, maybe a network, or as Amazon is effectively proving, both.

Publishing is a rights and content business and it makes sense to exploit rights fully, even if that means exclusivity. The key is to engage the creator in the process and ensure that their royalties are improved as a result of wise marketing.


Helena Waldron said...

Some very interesting thoughts here, and indeed throughout your blog. Is it possible to get a print copy of your 'Brave New World' book? I would love to read it as it would be excellent research for my PG Publishing Studies dissertation into the future of publishing/reading.

Martyn Daniels said...

is a link to the full report online the Booksellers Association of the UK may still have some physical copies
Sydney Davies, Head of Trade & Industry
Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland Ltd
Tel: +44 [0] 20 7802 0802 - Fax: +44 [0] 20 7802 0803