From ‘Rambo’ to

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David Morrell, author of the 1972 book ‘First Blood,’ which was the basis for the Sylvester Stallone movie ‘Rambo,’ has gone on to publish more than two dozen other books, both fiction and nonfiction. His latest, the novel ‘The Naked Edge,’ will be all-digital, available only through

Why publish a book as a Kindle exclusive? Our sibling blog Company Town explains:

1) Morrell gets to maintain the rights to his book. His agreement with Amazon follows a licensing model, which gives the online retailer the right to sell the book exclusively for a set number of years, after which Morrell is free to publish his book elsewhere. Morrell gets an undisclosed percentage of the sales and maintains all copyrights to his books, rather than have to share them with a traditional print publisher. 2) Instant global gratification. ‘Amazon has a global presence,’ Morrell said, noting that the company sells Kindle books in more than 100 countries. ‘That is enough to make my mind spin. There aren’t any warehouses, trucks or stores. And yet any of these books can be purchased at the click of a button in less than a minute.’

That all sounds fine, if not particularly revolutionary. Parsing it, though, I think there is one very interesting piece -- the ‘undisclosed percentage’ of sales. Because instant global reach is easy to achieve -- just put something up on the Internet. Instant global reach for which you get paid -- ah, that’s another thing entirely.


-- Carolyn Kellogg