One of the last major digital holdouts, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," should soon be available
as an e-book. L. Londell McMillan said Feb 20 that a digital edition will likely be out by May 19, what
would have been Malcolm X's 90th birthday, and that the estate expects to self-publish the book.
"Malcolm X was a fervent advocate for self-help, self-reliance and self-respect," McMillan said in
explaining why the estate favored self-publishing over releasing the e-book through the publisher
of the paper editions, Ballantine Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. "Today's technology
allows for innovative means to share content and add to it for educational, cultural and commercial
purposes. Malcolm X did not grant all rights to a publisher in perpetuity. The works and rights of
Malcolm X belong to his children and the community, not a publisher."McMillan said that the estate,
X Legacy LLC, also hopes to release an audiobook and to self-publish other works by Malcolm,
including speeches, letters and diaries. In November 2013, the estate sued to prevent a Chicago
based publisher from releasing a diary Malcolm X kept near the end of his life.
The autobiography is a collaboration with Alex Haley published in 1965, soon after Malcolm was
killed. It was immediately acclaimed as a riveting account of Malcolm X's self-transformation, has
sold millions of copies and is widely regarded as one of the most important memoirs in American
history. Porscha Burke, a publishing manager and associate editor at Random House, told the AP
that the hardcover and paperbacks of the autobiography were "precious jewels" and noted that the
publisher had prepared special editions for the 50th anniversary of the book's release.
Agents have long complained that e-book royalties paid by traditional publishers are too low, but
rarely have works as popular as "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" been self-published or released
through a third party. J.K. Rowling decided to sell e-editions of her "Harry Potter" books through her
own Pottermore web site. Such celebrated novels as Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" and Erica
Jong's "Fear of Flying" are published as e-books through the digital company Open Road Integrated
Source: US News World Report