Subject: Daniel Grotta
by Trotter on 2013/2/21 14:31:50
I agree 100% with the Tolkien Estate on this one and I think they have taken the correct decision.
"Several years ago, my 1976 biography J.R.R. Tolkien, Architect of Middle Earth, about the Oxford professor who wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, went out of print.
For more than three decades, the biography had gone through several editions and numerous printings, had been issued as both a hardback and mass market paperback, and had been translated into a half-dozen different languages. (Besides being the very first biography of Tolkien, its other, somewhat dubious distinction, was that shortly after the biography appeared, it became the most stolen book out of libraries!) My book enjoyed modest but consistent sales for most of its editorial lifetime, which peaked with brisk sales (and very decent royalties) with the release of Peter Jackson’s trilogy of Rings movies. Then my book’s original publisher, Running Press, was acquired by the Perseus Books Group, which allowed a number of its older titles to go out of print.
Thirty-six years in continuous publication is a damn good run.
According to my original contract with Running Press, should the book go out of print, all rights would revert back to me. Which they did. Since The Hobbit movies were in production, I decided to capitalize on Tolkien’s reemerging popularity by revising and expanding my original biography, which would then be reissued as an eBook. What’s more, we were going to distribute it for free, as a way of publicizing our new boutique publishing house, Pixel Hall Press.
However, don’t look for any re-issue of J.R.R. Tolkien, Architect of Middle Earth on Amazon or B&N or Apple, or anywhere else for that matter. You won’t find it. That’s because I never finished the revision. The reason why it never got off the ground has nothing to do with laziness or writer’s block. It’s because we couldn’t risk publishing it, for free or no.
It has other somewhat dubious distinctions as well.