This morning a lady in Australia asked a question on the ‘Save Our Cozy’ fb site, about audiobooks. And there were some lovely replies and suggestions.
Unfortunately most of them were not viable to readers outside the USA.
So I feel the need to clarify the situation on USA publications and their availability outside the USA.
When a book is published in the USA, and you live in the USA, you can walk into a bookstore and pick up a copy of the latest hardback or paperback, or go to you local library and pick it off the shelf or request a purchase of it into stock.
For those of us that live outside of the US, we can’t.
Our book shops/stores for the most part do not stock them. Our libraries do not buy them in for reading. The only availability for us, is to order it through internet book selling sites.
Now we come to Kindle/ebooks and audiobooks. Only about 60% Kindle and 40% audio are available outside of the USA.
For example…We can not buy any Jenn McKinlay, kindle/ebooks or audiobooks downloads. And that is just one of many, many examples I could throw out to you here.
It’s all due to “Territorial Rights”… Which basically means that these items can not be sold outside of the 50 States of the USA.
It is all due to the red tape publishers have used for years in their contracts with authors. Which was originally set up to secure ‘Royalties’ to the publisher (most important) and the author (less important)…
To me the author is the most important person, as it is their blood, sweat and tears, that they give to us in their written work, for our benefit.
Now you can see why more and more authors are turning to ‘self publishing’.
The only visual example that I can think of (you might find it on ‘that video site’ or your dvd collection), is an episode from ‘Murder She Wrote’.
The episode is the one with William Conrad (Canon) as a KGB agent keeping a watchful eye on a troupe of Russian ballet dancers…and 2 escape. And a conversation between Conrad’s character and Jessica goes…
Conrad character – “Mrs. Fletcher, I have enjoyed all your books. I have read them all in Russia”.
Jessica – “Well thank you. But it would be nice if Russia paid the Royalties that are due!”
‘Territorial Rights’ or ‘International Copyright Law’, were sound policies in the day of years gone by. But now, with the internet they are antiquated and outmoded, as sales worldwide can be easily tracked via online sales.
But some of the older ‘established’ publishers still use the ‘old’ contracts. Possibly because they hate spending their profits in updating anything. A bit like them not spending money on promoting genre authors, who are NOT International Best Sellers…I don’t think they have ever heard of the saying “using a sprat to catch a mackerel”!
So to just clarify things…outside the USA,
We can not walking into a book shop/store and purchase physical books published from the USA (for the most part…some book shops in major cities might stock a few…if you are lucky!).
We can not borrow hardbacks, paperbacks, ebooks or audiobooks from our cozy authors from our libraries (Hoopla and Overdrive are not available outside of the USA). Some libraries might (and only might), be able to get some Large Print editions, that are published outside the USA.
I hope this helps people understand what we, the International reader go through to get our fix. *smile*