Wiley Offer Olive Branch to Authors

The current spat between John Wiley & Sons and The US Authors Guild over proposed contract changes showed some signs of hope for authors yesterday following a further press release on the publisher’s website. Wiley now say they are happy to contact their Bloomberg Press authors and discuss any concerns they have. Ultimately, Wiley have conceded that if authors remain unhappy with the proposed contract changes, they can retain the terms of their original contract.

Two of the more contentious changes propsed involved paying royalties to authors based on net receipts rather than the list price of a book, and keeping a book permanently in print by switching titles to POD (print on demand), which would mean the provision of rights reversion to the author after a period of a title being ‘out of print’ would effectively be removed.
Here is the Wiley press release from yesterday in full:
Over the past week, a public dialogue has ensued about Wiley’s communications with the group of 117 authors joining us from Bloomberg. After a useful and productive exchange of ideas, we concluded that the best way to proceed is to call each and every one of these authors to make sure they understand the changes that we have proposed. If any of them are uncomfortable with our proposed changes, they can choose to retain their original Bloomberg contracts.

The Authors Guild recently proposed to Wiley that we wait until the next royalty period to complete a sample comparison of royalty payments to authors under the Wiley proposal and the existing Bloomberg contract. While we recognize the intent of their proposal, we believe our approach is more timely and in the best interests of our authors.

Wiley shares a common objective with the Authors Guild, to treat authors well and fairly. Our Company is well known for excellent relationships with our authors—a reputation we have earned and will work hard to retain.

Previous report on this:
Rumble in The Publishing Jungle

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