images.jpegIn an interview in the Harvard Magazine, high end author’s agent Andrew Wylie says:

He’s dissatisfied with the terms publishers have been offering for e-book rights, which were not widely foreseen and are not allocated in most extant book contracts. In fact, Wylie threatens to monetize those unassigned rights by going outside the publishing business entirely: “We will take our 700 clients, see what rights are not allocated to publishers, and establish a company on their behalf to license those e-book rights directly to someone like Google,, or Apple. It would be another business, set up on parallel tracks to the frontlist book business.” Such a heretical strategy would likely meet with stiff resistance from publishing houses, which have invested years, even decades, and millions of dollars in establishing their authors as brand names in the marketplace by printing, promoting, and selling their books



  1. Anything that by-passes the existing publishers is excellent in my book. These dinosaurs need to get out of the way and let progress actually make money for their writers. Bye Bye Penguin, et als.

  2. Actually, given the kind of attention the big publishers *don’t* give to the backlist, it makes more sense to market the ebook rights elsewhere than to settle for publisher-set rates.

    This may only be a negotiating tactic but it shouldn’t be; it should be the default for ebook-only contracts. After all, why should ebook rights subsidize print operations? The existing contracts were negotiated on the basis of print costs so with those costs already allocated, the only value-add of the publisher is stuff the agency can easily offer in-house.

    Did anybody doubt this was coming?
    After all, this is what Rosetta is already doing with their Amazon deal. It’s just a matter of time before everybody with a pre-ebook contract takes ebook rights directly from Agent to retailer.

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