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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Open Road Making Backlist Authors Accessible

A new digital publishing venture, Open Road Media, is dealing directly with authors or their estates to publish and aggressively market well-known backlist titles as e-books. National Public Radio highlights the firm’s efforts on a new electronic version of James Jones’s From Here to Eternity, which restores passages from the original text that were deemed inappropriate when the book was first released in the 1950s, and also includes videos to enhance the project.

The strategy of targeting backlist authors from traditional publishing companies has caught the attention of those venerable firms. “The question is: In what direction will they evolve?” asked publishing consultant Lorraine Shanley. “We’re all watching with eager anticipation.”

Open Road is headed down other paths as well, publishing its own titles that appear first in digital form, called “e-riginals.” And it’s formed partnerships with smaller publishers that can make use of its digital and marketing expertise.

Open Road Media hasn’t turned its attention to the textbook market—at least not yet—but is providing one more convenient avenue for readers to become comfortable with digital text.

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