Conservative Authors Sue Publisher
Five authors have sued the parent company of Regnery Publishing, a Washington imprint of conservative books
, charging that the company deprives its writers of royalties by selling their books at a steep discount to book clubs and other organizations owned by the same parent company.
In a suit filed in United States District Court in Washington yesterday, the authors Jerome R. Corsi, Bill Gertz, Lt. Col. Robert (Buzz) Patterson, Joel Mowbray and Richard Miniter state that Eagle Publishing, which owns Regnery, “orchestrates and participates in a fraudulent, deceptively concealed and self-dealing scheme to divert book sales away from retail outlets and to wholly owned subsidiary organizations within the Eagle conglomerate.”
Traditionally, authors receive a 15 percent royalty based on the cover price of a hardcover title after they have sold enough copies to cover the cost of the advance they receive upon signing a contract with a publisher. (Authors whose books are sold at steep discounts or to companies that handle remaindered copies receive lower royalties.)
In Regnery’s case, according to the lawsuit, the publisher sells books to sister companies, including the Conservative Book Club, which then sells the books to members at discounted prices, “at, below or only marginally above its own cost of publication.”
The authors also say in the lawsuit that Regnery donates books to nonprofit groups affiliated with Eagle Publishing and gives the books as incentives to subscribers to newsletters published by Eagle.
The authors argue that because at least a quarter and as much as half of their book sales are diverted to nonretail channels
, sales figures of their books on Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of retail sales but does not reflect sales through book clubs and other outlets used by Eagle, are artificially low.