DBW’s Archive Were Deleted During the Sale – Did You Lose Your Work?
When Digital Book World was sold last month to Score Publishing, its archives suffered the usual fate of blogs with guest posts and sloppy record keeping: The posts were taken offline.
Like many web publishers, F+W Media had never secured formal permission from authors to publish their guest posts on the DBW site. As a result, when the site was sold, much of the content had to come down until that permission was secured.
This is a not uncommon situation in web publishing; Teleread encountered the same problem when it was sold in 2010, and frankly no one bothers to ask guest contributors to agree to a specific contract before accepting a guest post (I have never been asked – not in eight years of blogging and guest blogging).
But while the permissions issue is common in blogging, Score Publishing’s response is not. They took down the entire archive, including the guest posts as well as copies of press releases and the posts by employees. That was a case of overkill.
Alas, the archive will stay down until Score Publishing secures the rights to repost the articles, which itself presents a problem. CEO Bradley Metrock told me by email that he was waiting on F+W to locate the original agreements with the creators or go back get approval again.
I am not inclined to wait patiently, so if you wrote a post for DBW – or know someone who had done so – would you please get in touch with Brad and get this straightened out?
Frankly, if I had known this issue would drag on for a month and a half, I would have said something sooner.
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David Rothman November 27, 2017 um 3:22 pm
Happy holidays, Nate.
You’re right. Overkill for sure. Furthermore, it isn’t that common among bloggers to offer standard contracts for guest posts (does The Digital Reader have one?). But people have always been welcome to recycle their TeleRead content elsewhere, including their own sites–the ultimate backup.
These days we don’t pay, and that’s more or less the first piece of information we share with any writers about to contribute to TeleRead.
Although we don’t pay due to the horrible ad environment, we do offer value in the form of encouragement, suggestions and possible editing. Garson O’Toole even turned some ideas in his TeleRead posts into a wonderful book mentioned in the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/books/famous-misquotations.html?_r=0) and Wall Street Journal (https://www.wsj.com/articles/things-you-know-that-aint-so-1491767842).
Oh, and by the way, when TeleRead was sold, we alerted our regulars and asked if they wanted at least token compensation. None did. They knew the score. Offhand, I can’t recall any ebook blogs that made anyone rich–either owners or contributors.
Good on you for continuing TDR as a public service (and promotional vehicle for your Web site business), whether or not you have a standard contract for contributors!
David H. Rothman
(Always happy to get in a plug for my past contributor’s book!)