I said this morning that the announcement by the Wylie Agency to circumvent publishers and use the Amazon Kindle Store to publish e-books by their leading list of authors and the author estates they represent was highly significant. I said it may be the most important publishing news to happen this year. This evening, I’ll go further. This is a watershed in the publishing world, and we may be about to enter a highly acrimonious and volatile period. I hope this period is short and decisive and the shape, structure and future definition of what publishing and selling a book is results in a publishing community that is open, focused and stable.
John Sargent is pissed off with Andrew Wylie and it seems he’s going round to his house to administer his black leather glove upon Andrew’s cheek in the most gentlemanly way.
“I’ll be knocking on his door shortly, asking him for dues to the AAP.
I am appalled, however, that Andrew has chosen to give his list exclusively to a single retailer. A basic tenet of publishing is that our function is to reach as many readers as we can. We disseminate our books and the ideas within them as broadly as possible. I understand why Amazon wants an exclusive deal with Andrew. They have asked us too for exclusive product, as has every major retailer we deal with. This is smart retailing, and a great deal for Amazon. But it is an extraordinarily bad deal for writers, illustrators, publishers, other booksellers, and for anyone who believes that books should be as widely available as possible. This deal advantages Amazon, which already has the dominant share in this market.”
“Last night, we sent a letter to Amazon disputing their rights to legally sell these titles, which are subject to active Random House publishing agreements. Upon assessing our business options, we will be taking appropriate action.”
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