With all of the hype, both optimistic and deleterious, the sheer number of literary agents now delving into eBook-only titles for clients, has brought a new level of credibility to the medium. Respectability has also come in the form of at least one important publishing house releasing the digital rights to out-of-print and author-held rights’ books.
Bloomsbury Publishing, publishers of fiction for children and adults, announced they will begin releasing digital titles of out-of-print works whose rights have reverted to the author or the author’s estate. Bloomsbury Reader debuted this month with an astounding 500 titles in its current list.
Controversy regarding the print publishers climbing into bed with digital publishers originates from agents taking responsibility for converting books and releasing them through eBook distribution platforms.
One thing that agents have insisted again and again in the debates is that industry professionals with any kind of credible reputation for a high standard of ethics will always make the best decisions for their clients.
Whether consumers think publishers are keeping up with the times or selling out remains to be seen. For now, Bloomsbury is resurrecting some out-of-print titles and making them available to a new audience in both digital and print-on-demand formats. That can’t be all bad.