Heads up, contract fans. The literary world is currently up in arms over new authorial contract changes instituted by Simon & Schuster. According to The Authors Guild, "The new contract would allow Simon and Schuster to consider a book in print, and under its exclusive control, so long as it's available in any form, including through its own in-house database—even if no copies are available to be ordered by traditional bookstores."
S&S responded with a seemingly baffled, "We are surprised at the overreaction of the Authors Guild to Simon & Schuster's contract . . . . We believe that our contract appropriately addresses the improved technology, increased availability, and higher quality of print-on-demand books, and reflects the fact that print-on-demand titles may now be readily purchased by consumers at both online and brick and mortar stores. [We] are confident in the long term that it will be a benefit for all concerned."
(Brick and mortar stores?)
Be all this as it may be, the concept that S&S would keep every single title they had available through print-on-demand or electronic formats is, at best, naive. Undoubtedly these changes will apply to YA and children's authors too. Seems sketchy. I seriously wonder if other publishers are thinking of making such a switch in their contracts as well. Ug.