Like most authors, I'm busy trying to catch up with changes in the publishing industry. Today, it would be almost unimaginable for a traditional publisher to purchase book rights without including ebook rights in the contract. But that's a very recent change. Publishing contracts for books that were published in hardcover or paperback editions even a few years ago probably didn't include provisions for ebooks. So the ebook rights remain with the author.
Keep in mind that an author owns all of the rights to his book except for those rights which he explicitly sells to a publisher. So, for example, when Five Star purchased the rights to A Minor Case of Murder, they purchased the hardcover rights (and the hardcover edition was released in 2006). I have a wonderful relationship with Five Star and I look forward to doing more books with them in the future. But in the meantime, I've had some decisions to make about the ebooks. I've moved slowly on the ebook edition for reasons ranging from valid business questions to innate laziness. In any event, I am pleased to announce that Crossroad Press will be publishing A Minor Case of Murder in all ebook formats. I expect the book to be available for all e-readers in the near future.
One of the interesting decisions that had to be made for the ebook edition was cover art. Again, it's a matter of rights. In the same sense that I own all rights to my story, except those rights that I explicitly sell, the same is true about the artist and cover art for the original edition. She owns all rights to the artwork except those rights that she explicitly sold. So I have no right to use her artwork for the ebook unless I purchase that right. Which I considered doing. Because I have always loved the artwork for the hardcover edition.
But the better business decision is to create new cover art specifically for the ebook edition. And today, I got my first look at the new cover. I will be grinning all day.
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