[27 August 2010]
Random House has reached a deal with Andrew Wylie, controversial head of The Wylie Agency, concerning thirteen titles the book agent released in e-format exclusively for Amazon.com under the digital imprint,Odyssey Editions. Wylie shocked the publishing book world last month with his announcement that 20 books from the impressive stable of talent the agent has under contract were going to be distributed exclusively for Amazon’s Kindle. The move, immediately attacked by Random House, highlighted tensions over author royalties for e-books and ambiguities over digital content in contracts that were written prior to rise of electronic publishing. While Wylie, received support from the Author’s Guild, he heavily criticized by industry insiders and publishers who claimed that his actions violated existing agreements (See previous RE:Print post for more on the controversy).
Following the joint statement of the agreement, Wylie removed the disputed titles, which included Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Salman Rushdie’s Midnights Children, leaving Odyssey Editions with only seven remaining titles. According an article on The Wall Street Journal, Random House intends to the release the books in e-format next week.