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Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users





Daniel Grotta
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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.

Here’s why
."

It has other somewhat dubious distinctions as well.

http://www.grotta.net/blog.htm?post=899042

Posted on: 2013/2/21 14:31


Re: Daniel Grotta
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I'm curious as to why Grotta can't (this is then & now) just quote the text under "fair use" & be done with it. I haven't read his biography; but even at the time, his use of the Ace Books text was surely unnecessary? For a start the whole text is nearly (not bibliographically, I know) identical. And surely some of the text he quoted from the Ace edition would have been identical? i.e. indistinguishable from the authorised Ballantine or G&AU text.

That aside, why the (continued) surprise? Christopher has allowed Carpenter (regardless of who he is) access to private papers & wants an official biography. Grotta (again, regardless of whether Christopher knew him, liked him, disliked him, etc) approaches him (as Carpenter is writing his biography) asking if he can have access (to papers & the Tolkien family generally) & write a biography. Hardly surprising Christopher said no. Why would they want two biographies out at the same time?

I'm totally baffled by his stance.

BH

Posted on: 2013/2/22 5:29
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: Daniel Grotta
Shirrif
Joined:
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Someone also asks (in the comments section) why Grotta doesn't just reprint it for the publicising of his new publishing house! Good question...

BH

Posted on: 2013/2/22 5:55
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...






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