Go Read This | Vestron’s Law: The Propensity for Rights to Revert to the Original Publisher « The Scholarly Kitchen

Excellent post by Joe Esposito over at Scholarly Kitchen today on Vestron’s Law. Oddly enough, it touched on ideas and principles I mention in a blog post over on EoinPurcell.com today. Happy timing because Joe’s post gives a much better theoretical foundation to what I am saying than I could have:

Vestron’s Law also accounts for many structural changes in the publishing industry.  During the 1980s, for example, trade book publishers began to talk of “vertical integration,” by which they meant that a hardcover house, which originated titles, should be aligned with a mass market paperback house, which in those days was the key source of publishing revenue; paperback houses licensed rights from hardcover publishers. Thus Random House bought Fawcett hardcover house purchasing a paperback company and New American Library, where I worked at the time, acquired Dutton paperback publisher acquires a hardcover house.  The culmination of this trend came about when Bantam, the leading paperback house, acquired Random House, the leading trade publisher.

via Vestron’s Law: The Propensity for Rights to Revert to the Original Publisher « The Scholarly Kitchen.


  1. The wisdom of the principles of reversion in this article are those that have applied in other commercial industries for some time.

    Licensing is a way to enter other promising but specialist markets without investment or capital. Licensing is based on performance and always includes provisions to revert after a period or if performance is not delivered.

    In my view the rational and thinking behind this article is a wake up call to writers. Writers in 2011 need to be far far more engaged in the contracts they are signing with their publishers if they are not going to self publish. There are many new issues they need to be considering but one of them is performance. if the publisher does not achieve an agreed level of performance then the rights need to revert to the writer. Rights should also revert after a set period of perhaps 5 years.

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