The world of digital publishing can be a lot more complicated than deciding whether to buy a Kindle, Nook, or iPad. If you want to know just how complex things are getting, just ask a publisher, author, or agent aboutAndrew Wylie.
Along with Amazon announcing its new Kindle, the major — and I mean, epoch-making — news in digital publishing in these circles last week was whenWylie, a literary agent, finally made good on his threat to bypass publishers by inkinga deal giving the exclusive e-book rights to his agency’s backlist to Amazon, through his imprint calledOdyssey Editions.
This means that books by Borges, Nabokov, Rushdie, Roth, Ellison, Updike, and Erdrich — some of which had been unavailable in any electronic format — are now available digitally, butonly for the Kindle.
Wylie’s move triggered retaliation from publishers, including Random House. It’s the most serious skirmish in a longstanding industry-wide debate between publishers and authors’ representatives over the proper royalty rate authors should receive for e-books, and (in some cases) who owns the rights to electronic versions of a book altogether.
- Andrew Wylie plans to expand Amazon backlist publishing effort (teleread.com)
- Wylie’s Amazon deal brings the end of the publishing world nigh (guardian.co.uk)