I love the web. It has leveled the field between big companies and the little guy to such an extent that the big companies have resorted to suing the little guy just to try to keep their edge. This field leveling is no more apparent than in the field of publishing.
The internet was originally supposed to be a field where information would be exchanged between researchers. It has obviously grown well beyond that. Sometimes that is good and sometimes it definitely makes your eyebrows go up. Regardless, there is one area where information is still readily conveyed and that is in the form of the eBook.
eBooks run the gauntlet of subjects. Want to lose weight? There's an eBook for that. Want to get ranked on Google? There's an eBook for that. Want to write an eBook? Yes, there is an eBook for that as well. Whatever the subject, eBooks exist.
While much goes into writing them, the key for turning them into a success is often figuring out how to get them in front of as large an audience as possible. One approach is to team up with a second party that has significant traffic be it in the form of a mailing list, membership group or whatever. The process by which this business relationship is formed is known as licensing.
An eBook license is designed to put into writing the terms of an agreement between the writer and a second party that will distribute it. Why a written agreement? Well, we want to make sure both parties understand the parameters of the agreement, are in full agreement on them and, perhaps most importantly, will create a record of the agreement for two or three years down the line should there end up being a dispute.
What are typical terms included in an eBook license? The method of distribution is a common one. As the writer, you may be all in favor of the second party sending it to their email list, but how about just sending it out as spam? Yes, you probably want to avoid that. Another area of concern is the site it can be used on. Nothing is worse than thinking you are innocent site A and then seeing your book on casino site B. The terms of a license can be used to keep this from happening.
As you can imagine, there are more than a few issues that come up with eBook distribution situations. Hey, maybe I should write an eBook on how to license eBooks!