I agree with almost everything Jonathan Galassi says in his Op-Ed piece in Sunday’s New York Times about the fact that books, even the ones penned by authors who are considered literary geniuses, are not the product of just one individual spewing brilliance at the world. I go back to my oft repeated point that in this new era of e-books, blogs, vlogs, and all things digital, we’ll still need agents and publishers to act as gatekeepers, shepherds and midwives. My only quarrel with the piece is, of course, Mr. Galassi’s somewhat disingenuous (he is a publisher, after all) implication that Random House (or any other publisher) should be automatically “involved” in these e-book rights (meaning that they would control and derive revenue from them) because of their work in producing the original book. If, as he says, e-books are just another format of a book (like audio and translations), then these rights should be “in play” when a book is sold. And, if the author retains those rights, he or she should be able to dispose of them in any way they see fit without having to involve the publisher of the original work.
What do you say?