Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

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steve
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Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by steve » July 4th, 2010, 1:20 am

Pretty cool. Check it out here.
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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by J. T. SHEA » July 4th, 2010, 6:28 pm

Wylie makes a helluva lot of sense, particularly about the current obsession with reading devices, and how jukebox manufacturers could have captured the whole recorded music industry generations ago if such a short-sighted mentality had prevailed then!

P. S. I like your goggles, Steve!

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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by dahosek » July 6th, 2010, 8:29 pm

He sounds a lot like I did when I was 16.

I was an idiot when I was 16.

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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by steve » July 22nd, 2010, 11:38 am

Wylie and Amazon partner to release his clients' ebooks.

http://www.odysseyeditions.com

Nice move; money in his authors' pockets, nothing for the publishing houses.
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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by dahosek » July 22nd, 2010, 3:48 pm

Nice move for established authors, maybe, but a really crappy move for the rest. Without the imprimatur of a publishing house, an emerging author is unlikely to get much attention, let alone sales.

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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by steve » July 22nd, 2010, 5:34 pm

Random House is pissed:
Random House wrote:Last night, we sent a letter to Amazon disputing [the Wylie Agency's] 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.
More here.
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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by Bryan Russell/Ink » July 22nd, 2010, 5:42 pm

Most contracts, as I understand it, have a no competition sort of clause in it. A writer can't put out a version of the story with another publisher (which is basically what Amazon becomes in this scenario) while the book is under contract/still in print, etc. Obviously Random House sees this as a violation, because people who want these titles (or at least some of them) will be buying the ebook version over the paper version - all while Random House has written contracts suggesting sole rights for the title. No sharesies! I just read the earlier post (before the one with the response went up) and thought: that's going to get an immediate rebuttal. Nice to know I'm right.

It's gonna be very interesting to see how this plays out, and to see how it shapes definitions of what an ebook is - simply a different version of the text (like a mass market or hardcover) or something substantively different?
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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by steve » July 22nd, 2010, 8:36 pm

Doubt that was the case with these authors.

Most of the books in this first go round by Odyssey are by dead authors. The writers' estates have lawyers, as does Wylie, and likely all vetted this.

Interesting to see how far RH is willing to piss off writers.
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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by dahosek » July 23rd, 2010, 12:45 am

On the other hand, the fact that all the authors in this go-round are dead could be that Wylie knows that he runs the risk of scuttling future publishing deals with this move.

Publishers are not the enemy.

-dh

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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by steve » July 23rd, 2010, 10:51 am

An enemy would have to be relevant, so in this case, you're correct.
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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by Bryan Russell/Ink » July 23rd, 2010, 3:09 pm

Well, if the publisher still owns active rights on these titles, I'd say they're very relevant indeed.
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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by wetair » July 23rd, 2010, 5:00 pm

Just which rights they own is the question, isn't it?

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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by Nathan Bransford » July 23rd, 2010, 10:30 pm

The issue comes down to reserved rights. Since electronic rights weren't granted to the publisher in the old agreements (and obviously weren't even conceived of), Wylie is taking the position that these rights belong to the author and not the publisher, just as if you were to grant a publisher hardcover rights only they don't have rights to the paperback.

Random House, of course, disagrees with this assessment, and this actually came up around 10 years ago in a lawsuit against Rosetta, in a very similar situation. RH tried for an injunction to stop it (court denied it), and it seemed that the judge was leaning toward Rosetta before the lawsuit was ultimately settled out of court.

More background here.

It will be very interesting to see how this shakes out, especially amid agents' perennial complaint that publishers aren't offering enough for e-book royalties.

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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by Ishta » July 24th, 2010, 1:39 am

I'm very curious to see how this ends up. It has implications for how electronic rights and royalties are handled for actors appearing in backlisted films and TV shows that are later released on DVD, and it also has implications for how royalties are handled (if at all) for shows that are aired online.

I know they are two different industries, but if there is a precedent for one, then the other can look to that example.

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Re: Andrew Wylie profile in Harvard Magazine

Post by HillaryJ » July 25th, 2010, 10:36 pm

Mike Shatzkin, as usual, takes an intelligent look at this, acknowledging also all the things we don't yet know. Below is his assessment of the part that has me so stumped about the deal:

"Without knowing what incentives Wylie got for his authors from Amazon in return for the exclusive, it is hard to be sure that it is a mistake (although it seems likely, given the current growth pattern of the ebook suppy chain.) But the conflict of interest for an agent charged with looking for the best possible deal for an author and then self-publishing, in the face of potential litigation, is transparent."

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