Kessinger / Literary Licensing Update

December 27, 2021

Jake Mayer checks in:

I’ve been following Kessinger/Literary Licensing since I’ve been involved in reprint publishing for the past 12 years. I have no idea about the employment scams, etc, listed above.

What I do know is that Kessinger/Literary Licensing has managed to have the first re-printing of public domain (and not-so-public domain) works to market, often with shoddy interiors and no cover design. Amazon is a wild west of book arbitraging and publishing, so this is in itself not shocking.

What is shocking is that Amazon has been increasingly prohibiting all but the first re-republisher of public domain works from the marketplace, and even banning other publishers who attempt to list the same title. This means that Kessinger/Literary Licensing has been given a monopoly on hundreds of thousands (millions?) of book titles on Amazon, as other publishers will be denied a level playing field to produce better quality lower cost editions, despite the fact that books in the public domain are IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN(!)

It is infuriating, unfair, and likely illegal, but as noted- who is going to do anything.

What keeps this story on my radar is Whitefish, MT. With a population of fewer than 8,000 residents, not only to these resident include Roger Kessinger and his book empire, but also famed neo-Nazi Richard Spencer (external link), and billionaire Michael Goguen—another fun guy (external link)

WTF is going on in Whitefish, and how are Kessinger and Bezos involved?

Jake

Dear Jake,

Sorry for the delay in responding. Hope your holidays are going well. Thanks for the fascinating report. Why Whitefish? More probably, Montana, with Whitefish as its center.

I suspect Montana’s thin population allows well financed lobbyists to more easily influence bill writing. Not so much scrutiny. Got to be tax law or some such. Look at New Mexico, with more foreign insurance companies incorporated there than any other state in America. Does that make sense? Of course not.

Unless you look at what NM charges for incorporating compared to other states, could be significant, and whatever other favorable conditions are granted. Someone has probably been walking around Whitefish with bags of money, Whitefish itself possibly the power center of Montana. Without looking it up, Whitefish may be a really nice place to live in Montana.

Thanks again.

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer specializing in outdoor subjects, particularly rocks, gems and minerals.
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