Business author signs exclusive e-rights deal with Amazon

<p>American business author Stephen R Covey has moved e-book rights to two of his bestselling books from his print publisher, Simon &amp; Schuster Inc, to digital publisher RosettaBooks, which will sell the e-books via Amazon.com for one year.</p><p>According to the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/technology/companies/15amazon.html?_r=1" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a>, this gives Amazon exclusive rights to sell electronic editions of <em>The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People</em> and <em>Principle-Centered Leadership.</em> Covey is expected to gradually make other e-books available exclusively to Amazon, which will promote them on its web site.</p><p>The <em>NYT </em>said the move would &quot;raise the already high anxiety level among publishers about the economics of digital publishing and could offer authors a way to earn more profits from their works than they do under the traditional system&quot;.</p><p>Arthur Klebanoff, chief executive of RosettaBooks, said Covey would receive more than half of the net proceeds from Amazon on all e-book sales, compared with a more standard 25%. &quot;There are superstars, and superstars are entitled to more,&quot; Klebanoff was quoted as saying. </p><p>Adam Rothberg, a spokesman for Simon &amp; Schuster, declined to comment directly on Covey&rsquo;s decision, but told <em>NYT</em>: &quot;Our position is that electronic editions of our backlist titles belong in the Simon &amp; Schuster catalog, and we intend to protect our interests in those publications.&quot;</p><p>The news comes hot on the heels of reports that <a href="../news/106649-random-house-us-asserts-digital-rights-to-older-titles.html" target="_blank">Random House US chief executive Markus Dohle had sent out letters to &quot;dozens&quot; of literary agents asserting the publisher&#39;s ownership of retrospective digital rights.</a> The letter stated that the &quot;vast majority of our backlist contracts grant us the exclusive right to publish books in electronic formats&quot;. Dohle added that many of the older agreements &quot;often give the exclusive right to publish &#39;in book form&#39; or &#39;in any and all editions.&#39;&quot;</p><p>The latest development oddly sees Random House and RosettaBooks at the centre of an e-book storm nine years after the two companies clashed publicly over the e-book rights of books by authors including William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Parker. </p>