Re: RARA-AVIS: Spirited discussions, critical reviews, and numerical arguments

From: hardcasecrime (
Date: 25 Jul 2005

Thanks, Jeff -- Wiliams is one of my favorite authors, and I'm very excited to be publishing a new edition of A TOUCH OF DEATH next year.

We aren't publishing any public domain books, though, by Williams or anyone else. For one thing, it's extremely hard to establish conclusively whether a book published less than 75 years ago is or isn't in the public domain. Some publishers claim to have a good understanding of the relevant laws, and maybe they do; I do not, and wouldn't want to run afoul of the law accidentally.

For another, Dorchester doesn't have an interest in publishing PD books, which I can understand -- why invest a lot of money and effort in publishing and marketing a book when any competitor who wants to can legally 'freeride' on your investment by publishing their own edition of the same book once your edition enjoys any success?

Finally, there are a number of other houses out there that do nothing but reprint works they claim are in the public domain. Rather than fighting with them over the same limited pool of material, we'd rather leave the PD works to them and concentrate our efforts in an area in which they can't compete for lack of resources and in which readers are consequently underserved.


--- In, "Jeff Vorzimmer"
<jvorzimmer@a...> wrote:
> Charles,
> There are a lot of great books, some by Charles Williams, that are
in the
> public domain, which you might consider publishing.
> Jeff

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