Secrets, Lies, and Publishing
The beauty of print-on-demand (from the publisherís perspective) used to be that they had limited liability when it came to content. Sure theyíd scan for hate material and other stuff that could definitely get them sued but aside from that, if you had a bone to pick with an ex-boyfriend and wanted to kill him off in a novel, have at it!
Well now that might be changing.
Author House just lost a case in Kansas courtroom citing that the publisher published a book of libelous nature. This from the Publisherís Weekly article which came out yesterday: According to court documents, AuthorHouse published Paperback Poison: the Romance Writer and the Hit Man by Gary D. Brock, with his current wife, Debbie Brock, in November, 2003. Some of the more incendiary claims in Paperback Poison include allegations that Brandewyne broke laws, committed adultery, plagiarized several of her books, and hired a hit man to kill her ex-husband, the bookís author.
So when does it become an effective use of a publisherís time to vet every manuscript they get? With the mountain of work thatís submitted to any of these publishers on a given day my sense is: itís not. Despite this case I suspect that changes wonít be afoot (although a few nervous publishers are no doubt meeting with their attorneys as I write this to have their contracts rewritten).
Most of the time the ďhold harmlessĒ clause in POD contracts protects the publisher from such cases, in this situation it did not. Still, letís look at this rationally. With all the thousands of books that have been published since the inception of POD this is the first such libel case that made it into court, thatís pretty good in my view. The idea behind POD and the reason it works is the minimal involvement by the publisher, thatís the idea it was built on and if you remove that, these publishers will be limited in what they can publish just by the sheer volume or work thatís submitted and the extensive vetting process it may have to go through.
The idea is that POD is a do-it-yourself form of publishing and despite the industries rumblings about the quality of work thatís published, etc. if this model changes then itís only one step removed from traditional publishing and at the end of the day, thatís never what PODís been about.
Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/
Penny C. Sansevieri is a book publicist who turns authors into success stories. Get her free author marketing newsletter and insider tips at http://www.amarketingexpert.com
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