FAQ

Will the books be restricted by geographical rights/territories?

Will the books be available outside the major English-speaking territories (i.e. UK, US, Aus)?


How will I know if a title is not available in the USA or Canada?


I live in the USA and don't read on a Kindle - why can't I buy your eBooks?


Will the eBooks have DRM? If so, what kind?


What formats will The Murder Room ebooks be available in?


Which retailers will be selling The Murder Room ebooks?


Will you be offering licences to libraries or will you supply content through 3rd party library vendors?


Why can't I buy direct from the site?

Why aren't print-on-demand versions available?

Can I buy specific short stories? If not, why not?

Is there an affiliate scheme?

Why Isn't Author X in the Murder Room List? / Will Author X be in The Murder Room?

Why aren't you publishing series in order?


Why do you have some of Author X's books, and not others?


Will The Murder Room be open to new and/or self-published authors?

How does one go about becoming a Murder Room author?

Why have you not kept the original covers?

 

Will the books be restricted by geographical rights/territories?
Yes, they will. We have acquired rights to The Murder Room titles from the authors or their estates, and in many cases the rights they were willing or able to grant us were only for the UK and Commonwealth countries (excluding Canada, which is usually bundled with USA rights). It's not that we don't want to allow you to buy the books; it's outside the terms of our contracts.
 
However, there are many titles - approximately one-third - in which we have World English Rights, and these will be available everywhere, subject to retailers' ability to sell them.

Will the books be available outside the major English-speaking territories (i.e. UK, US, Aus)?
Yes. We generally have English language rights on all titles everywhere in the world except for the USA, its dependencies, Canada and the Philippines. And as noted above, we have English language rights everywhere in the world in one third of our titles. The Murder Room ebooks will be available from retailers in every country provided they have established commercial terms with the Hachette UK Group.

How will I know if a title is not available in the USA or Canada?
Each title in which we only hold UK and Commonwealth rights will be clearly marked on its title page on The Murder Room website.

I live in the USA and don't read on a Kindle - why can't I buy your eBooks?
Firstly, apologies for the frustration; we know there are some aspects of digital publishing that are irritating to consumers and we - as a company and as an industry - are working hard to resolve them. At the moment, we have no direct trading relationship with the major American retailers, such as Barnes & Noble, and so we are unable to supply them with files. As Amazon is a multinational, with a major operation in the UK where we are based, we can supply Amazon with files, so our eBooks are available to North American Kindle users. We're very sorry that users of other devices are not, for the moment, able to buy our titles, but we hope that the abundance of Kindle apps for a wide variety of platforms will, temporarily at least, provide a usable alternative until we are able to offer our books through all North American retailers.

Will the eBooks have DRM? If so, what kind?
Yes, they will. The Murder Room is owned and operated by the Orion Publishing Group, itself part of the Hachette UK Group. Hachette policy is that DRM is applied to all eBooks published by Hachette companies. Gateway titles are available from the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBookstore platforms, which have their own proprietary DRM schemes, or from a range of vendors using Adobe DRM.

What formats will The Murder Room ebooks be available in?
The Murder Room eBooks will be available for the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBookstore platforms, and as ePub files secured with Adobe DRM from a range of digital partners.

Which retailers will be selling The Murder Room ebooks?
Notwithstanding the above, any retailer which has satisfied Hachette UK's contractual and technical requirements and reached commercial terms with us can sell our titles, provided we have the appropriate territorial rights.

Will you be offering licences to libraries or will you supply content through 3rd party library vendors?
The Hachette UK Group does not currently supply ebooks into the library sector.

Why can't I buy direct from the site?
We have built up very good relationships with our retail partners over the years and see no reason to change that at this time. Retailers specialise in selling and publishers specialise in creating, and maintaining those roles currently gives our readers the best possible user experience.

Why aren't print-on-demand versions available?
We will be making print-on-demand editions available shortly for those titles to which we have been granted print rights.

Can I buy specific short stories? If not, why not?
We are currently considering how best to make available the short story output of the many classic authors on our list, but it is unlikely that we will be able to provide individual stories. Please keep an eye on the Murder Room blog for updates as and when we have them.

Is there an affiliate scheme?
As The Murder Room is not selling directly, we cannot offer any sort of affiliates scheme. Many of the major retailers do so, but that is not something we are involved in, in any way.

Why Isn't Author X in the Murder Room? / Will Author X be in The Murder Room?
There are many reasons an author might be absent from The Murder Room list. In some cases the rights are simply not available.  In others, an author or an author's estate has decided that they don't wish to make eBooks available; in these instances there is nothing we can do but move on and plan to revisit that author in the future, in the hope they will reconsider.

Sometimes, it's just a case of us not having had time to approach an author. It's also often the case that we are still speaking to an author or agent, and we obviously can't discuss negotiations in progress. Given the scale of ambition for The Murder Room project, author acquisition is likely to be a continuing process for some time; we announced The Murder Room with a list of authors agreed to that point, have added more since the announcement and will be adding even more authors over the coming years - but we will not announce an author until we have an agreement with their agent or estate.

If you are disappointed that certain authors are missing from The Murder Room list, please bear the above explanations in mind, and be reassured that the least likely reason an author isn't present is because we haven't thought of them.

Why aren't you publishing series in order?
After acquiring rights from the authors or their estates, the main factor that determines what we can publish is locating file copies from which to produce the eBooks. In many instances we found (and continue to find) ourselves in situations where we have some books in a series but not all; there are also times when we send a complete series for conversion and when the eBooks return, one of them fails quality control and has to be sent back for correction. In those situations we have two choices: to wait until we have a correct file for every book in a series - or at least the first x books - or to publish as we locate the files. In order to make as many eBooks as possible available for readers and to avoid creating a backlog of titles in our production processes, we choose to make books available as soon as we are able to. We are aware of gaps in some of our series and we are working diligently to fill them.

Why do you have some of Author X's books, and not others?
We have endeavoured, in every instance, to acquire authors' entire backlist. In some instances this has not been possible owing to some rights already being spoken for.

Will The Murder Room be open to new and/or self-published authors?
No. The Murder Room was established specifically to rescue classic crime titles from their mostly-out-of-print status and make them available again to a wider audience. There are many sites and publishers whose raison d'être is to facilitate the ebook publication of new and/or self-published authors, and it is not in our plans to join them.

How does one go about becoming a Murder Room author?
Please see above, but if you happen to be an established crime author whose books were published by a major house but have now fallen out of print, please ask your agent to get in touch with us.

Why have you not kept the original covers?
The Murder Room will be publishing hundreds of titles over the course of the next few years, and it is neither feasible nor economical to track down the original artists or rights holders for every cover and, in many cases, pay permission fees to use those covers. Our goal is to make as many titles as possible available as quickly as we can and provide them at reasonable prices - tracking down and using original cover art is not compatible with either of those goals.