• Penguin's insane policy on electronic galleys for authors

    [Ed: An anonymous reader from the publishing industry wrote in with the following. I have every reason to believe it's true -Cory]

    Update: An agent writes in to say: "Penguin ALSO doesn't want to give agents the hi-res final jacket image without charging. We can often beg/loophole/cajole — but the official party line is they are supposed to charge $300. (???!) Mind you, this could pretty much ONLY be used to promote the book. We like to put the book jacket on our agency website, in our agency catalogues for foreign book fairs, make postcards, etc… but obviously we can't authorize any other territory to use this image.

    So essentially they are saying they don't want us to create promo material on the book's behalf, even on our own dime."

    There's something going on at Penguin (interesting to see if it
    changes now that it's Penguin Random House, though all signs point no)
    that's so stupid and old school and against all authors that I thought
    I'd share.

    In every contract in publishing, there's language (as you know) that
    gives an author a certain number of copies of the book, on publication.
    When ebooks came to play, agents began trying to negotiate for an
    electronic version of the book too, oftentimes successful. What
    they /can't/ get from Penguin (and a few other publishers, though
    notably Penguin) is a final PDF or even a final word doc of the book.
    Agents are told that Penguin puts work into the layout, edit and design
    and so agents can't just give that work away to foreign countries for
    them to use in their editions. That work must be paid for. I semi-buy
    that argument, though it makes me think two things: 1) Shame on them for
    getting in the way (as they do sometimes) of a foreign deal and 2)
    Penguin is contractually obligated to create the book anyway, with all
    of those pieces.