Thriller writer John Grisham ends holdout on e-books

Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:20pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Popular legal thriller author John Grisham has broken his holdout against selling his books in an electronic format and will sell all of his 23 titles as e-books, his publisher said on Tuesday.

The former lawyer, whose best sellers include "The Firm" and "A Time To Kill", had previously held off selling his books electronically, expressing concern that e-books would wipe out traditional book stores and make it harder for new writers to succeed.

But beginning Tuesday, all Grisham's fiction and non-fiction books will be available through e-book retailers, publisher Random House said.

As e-books have grown in popularity, some authors have been embroiled in royalty negotiations with publishers. Publishers in turn have had disagreements with e-book retailers such as about how to split e-book sales.

Stuart Applebaum, a Random House spokesman, would not disclose the terms of the deal, but said "today was a watershed deal."

The deal "is certain to usher in a new generation of Grisham readers and e-book adopters," Sonny Mehta, chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is owned by Random House and publishes Grisham's hardback titles, said in a statement.

Since his first novel "A Time To Kill" was released in 1989, Grisham has sold more than 250 million books worldwide, according to Random House. Several of his novels have been turned into films.

Grisham's literary agent said the author had no comment on Tuesday's announcement.   Continued...