From the Memphis Commercial-Appeal:
“When “Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Robert Johnson” appeared in 2008, Memphis author Tom Graves wasn’t entirely happy with the launch of his painstakingly researched book about the mysterious Mississippi blues legend.
The book appeared in a nice trade paperback edition, but “the publisher didn’t want to fool with e-books, so I knew that was a revenue stream I was missing,” Graves said.
When the rights to “Crossroads” converted back to the author, Graves decided to put out his own electronic book edition, to be purchased and downloaded on e-book devices such as the Amazon Kindle and Barnes& Noble’s Nook.”
The experience helped inspire the literature-loving Graves — an assistant professor of English at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis— to give new life to other forgotten, overlooked and out-of-print books.
He and friend Darrin Devault launched the Devault-Graves Agency, a publishing business in Graves’ Midtown home specializing in e-books.
The company’s business model includes negotiating with authors who have regained the rights to their books as well as mining the public domain for overlooked classics available due to what Graves calls the “vagaries” of copyright law.
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