Self-published novel on KDP now very popular - trade publishers approaching

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Blackwell

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Hey gang, one of my KDP horror novels has really blown up, and now I've got a German publisher who represents Dean Koontz and Stephen King in Europe wants to translate my book and publish it in Germany. I just wanted to ask since I didn't see it on KDP's website - am I even allowed to do this? Or does Amazon now fully own the publishing rights to my book in all languages?
 
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Fuchsia Groan

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Congratulations!

I’m not an expert, but I don’t think Amazon owns any rights to your book unless an Amazon imprint is your publisher. KDP is essentially the retailer. You have a choice whether to sell your book exclusively through them, which is very much not the case when you license your rights to a publisher.

You might think about approaching agents who could help you negotiate the foreign rights deal with this German publisher. Even trade publishers don’t necessarily own the foreign rights to the books they buy (it depends on the contract), and when they do, the author still gets a percentage of any sales.
 

Al X.

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Congratulations!

I’m not an expert, but I don’t think Amazon owns any rights to your book unless an Amazon imprint is your publisher. KDP is essentially the retailer. You have a choice whether to sell your book exclusively through them, which is very much not the case when you license your rights to a publisher.

You might think about approaching agents who could help you negotiate the foreign rights deal with this German publisher. Even trade publishers don’t necessarily own the foreign rights to the books they buy (it depends on the contract), and when they do, the author still gets a percentage of any sales.

You raise an interesting question. We know that participating in the KDP Select program requires remaining exclusive with Amazon for self-published works, but does that extend to trade published books? It probably does. But does a translated work count as the same, or a new publication? I'll bet it would be treated as a new work, but don't know for certainty.

At any rate, the only impact would be the OP's KDP books Select status, and the OP can easily enough opt out of that. And the OP probably should, because it's a toxic program.
 
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J. Tanner

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You have every right to do this if you choose.

In your KDP dashboard select the book, choose the ... options menu and select Edit eBook Pricing. Within those options you'll find an option to select the territories for which you have the distribution rights. If you sell the rights to Germany, you will (at some point as agreed to in the contract) go into this list and deselect Germany.
 

Al X.

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You have every right to do this if you choose.

In your KDP dashboard select the book, choose the ... options menu and select Edit eBook Pricing. Within those options you'll find an option to select the territories for which you have the distribution rights. If you sell the rights to Germany, you will (at some point as agreed to in the contract) go into this list and deselect Germany.

That does not sound correct to me. As a KDP author, you already hold the rights to the book, regardless of where you choose to distribute it through the KDP platform. The only reason why you might, for example, deselect the 'distribution rights' for Germany is if you don't want to have a KDP version competing with other versions you might have published in the German market. Or it is also possible, I suppose, that your trade publishing contract may stipulate a non-compete clause in that market.

As to whether opting out of the German market will preserve the book's Select status, I don't know, and it may, but that is a different issue.
 

veinglory

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A translated book won't hit the duplicate book trigger. So i think that you probably could have both.
 

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