February 15th, 2011

Joint Authors’ Guild/AAR panel on “Selling Book-to-Multimedia Rights: A Walk Through The Process”


·         Digital Right Attorney (Eric Brown, FWRV)

·         Traditional publisher (Rick Joyce, Perseus Books)

·         App developer (Charlie Stack, Sideways)

·         Author (Seymour Simon, “Science Fun To Go”)



For those who follow me on Twitter, I promised to post what I learned on the joint Authors Guild/Association of Authors’ Representatives panel on Selling Book-to-Multimedia Rights.  I envy those who can tweet and absorb information at the same time, but, sadly, I’m not among them.  So, herewith is the promised wrap-up, cobbled together as best I could from my scrawled notes.

The panel started out with an introduction from each panelist about what they do and their direct experience with apps and multimedia.  It sounds as though Seymour Simon developed his app, “Science Fun to Go,” through Yapper (Your App Maker): http://yapperapp.com/.  Charlie Stack’s company, Sideways, designs apps themselves, including the recent and very successful JFK: 50 Days (http://www.americanconsumernews.com/2010/12/jfk-50-days-ipad-edition-now-available-on-the-appstore.html).  Rick Joyce of the Perseus Books Group worked with Sideways on the JFK app, which was based on the book JFK Day by Day (http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/perseus/book_detail.jsp?isbn=0762437421).  Eric Brown approached apps and multimedia from a legal perspective.

The discussion went from some of the plusses of apps, like buddy reading where you can read to a child remotely, say through an iPhone, where flipping a page on the phone might flip the corresponding page on an iPad miles away, to the drawbacks of electronic media, including censorship (like Amazon’s removal of Animal Farm from Kindles a few years ago), rundown batteries, being cut off from the cloud or Internet, as happened recently in Egypt, and vulnerability to electromagnetic pulse.  It very quickly moved on to defining the differences between enhanced e-books, multimedia, and apps.  Eric pointed out that “multimedia” actually has no intrinsic meaning. 

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