11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 14, 2010 6:21 AM by flyingtoastr

    Amazon 2-year exclusive on some big backlist titles

    Doug_Pardee

      Amazon has worked a 2-year deal to be the exclusive e-book outlet for the Wylie Agency's new Odyssey Editions imprint of premier backlist titles.

       

      Authors of the 20 initial titles include:

      • Martin Amis
      • Saul Bellow
      • Jorge Luis Borges
      • William S. Burroughs
      • John Cheever
      • Ralph Emerson
      • Louise Erdrich
      • Norman Mailer
      • Vladimir Nabokov
      • V. S. Naipaul
      • Orhan Pamuk
      • Philip Roth
      • Salman Rushdie
      • Oliver Sacks
      • Hunter S. Thompson
      • John Updike
      • Evelyn Waugh

      Pricing is expected to be $9.99 on all titles.

       

        • 1. Re: Amazon 2-year exclusive on some big backlist titles

          Yeah, I saw that yesterday...  It seems very shortsighted of them, doesn't it????

          • 2. Re: Amazon 2-year exclusive on some big backlist titles

             


            Doug_Pardee wrote:

            Amazon has worked a 2-year deal to be the exclusive e-book outlet for the Wylie Agency's new Odyssey Editions imprint of premier backlist titles.

             

            Authors of the 20 initial titles include:

            • Martin Amis
            • Saul Bellow
            • Jorge Luis Borges
            • William S. Burroughs
            • John Cheever
            • Ralph Emerson
            • Louise Erdrich
            • Norman Mailer
            • Vladimir Nabokov
            • V. S. Naipaul
            • Orhan Pamuk
            • Philip Roth
            • Salman Rushdie
            • Oliver Sacks
            • Hunter S. Thompson
            • John Updike
            • Evelyn Waugh

            Pricing is expected to be $9.99 on all titles.

             


             

            I just looked up "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Available at [vendor name redacted] for $9.99, Odyssey Editions (July 21, 2010). Interesting find, it doesn't even list that particular book on Inkmesh as an ebook.

             

            • 3. Re: Amazon 2-year exclusive on some big backlist titles
              Doug_Pardee

              John Sargent (CEO of Macmillan) is not amused. He writes,

              I am appalled, however, that Andrew [Wylie] 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.

              So sayeth the CEO of a publishing house which has cut off all of its e-book outlets except Amazon, B&N, Apple, Sony, Kobo, and Borders; and which no longer permits its e-books to be lent via OverDrive.

               

              • 4. Re: Amazon 2-year exclusive on some big backlist titles

                Way to call out Sargent for his hypocrisy, Doug.  I wasn't aware that Macmillan titles were no longer available for lending at online digital libraries.  They are making piracy more and more attractive with every idiotic business decision they make.  It's going to blow up in their faces just like it did with the music biz.

                 

                • 5. Re: Amazon 2-year exclusive on some big backlist titles

                  You hit the nail on the head there sub-rosa.  I don't download pirated music, never have, never will.  I always had the option to buy the CD and burn mp3's if I wanted it in digital format.  This cannot happen with a book in the same way (not very easily anyway :smileywink: ).  But now, with every decision the publishers and now authors (and their estates) are making I am not feeling the same moral restriction against pirating as I do for music.

                  I can always buy the DTB but if it is out of print and not available at the library then I have to choose between not reading it or getting a pirated ebook.  I am leaning towards no longer reading that author's works since there is so much more out there to read, but I know not all would make the same decision.

                  Publishers and now the authors are just growing the number of availble pirate editions of their works and losing possible income.

                  • 6. Re: Amazon 2-year exclusive on some big backlist titles

                    Eh, I just have learned to appreciate Smashwords more instead.  Read some cool stuff that way.

                    • 7. Amazon 2-year exclusive on some big backlist titles lasts a month
                      Doug_Pardee

                      The big 2-year exclusive e-book deal that Amazon worked with the Andrew Wylie agency's "Odyssey Editions" imprint is dead for 13 of the 20 titles.

                       

                      After the exclusive deal was announced, Random House froze the Wylie agency out of RH for "poaching" RH titles. After a month, Wylie blinked.

                       

                      Amazon is still listing them at the moment, but the deal transfers the e-publication rights for those 13 e-books to Random House. RH will make them available through all of its outlets (meaning, everywhere but Apple).

                       

                      The titles being reclaimed by Random House:

                       

                      • London Fields, by Martin Amis
                      • The Stories of John Cheever, by John Cheever
                      • Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
                      • Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
                      • The Enigma of Arrival, by V. S. Naipaul
                      • The White Castle, by Orhan Pamuk
                      • Portnoy's Complaint, by Philip Roth
                      • Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie
                      • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson
                      • Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
                      • Rabbit Redux, by John Updike
                      • Rabbit is Rich, by John Updike
                      • Rabbit at Rest, by John Updike

                      Still being published by Odyssey Editions on an exclusive basis to Amazon:

                       

                      • The Adventures of Augie Marsh, by Saul Bellow
                      • Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges
                      • Junky, by William S. Burroughs
                      • Love Medicine, by Louise Erdrich
                      • The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
                      • The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, by Oliver Sacks
                      • Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh

                       

                      • 8. De-exclusived big backlist titles start appearing on B&N
                        Doug_Pardee

                        The following titles are already available via B&N this morning:

                         

                        London Fields

                          

                        The Stories of John Cheever

                          

                        Lolita

                          

                        The Enigma of Arrival

                          

                        The White Castle

                          

                        Portnoy's Complaint

                          

                        Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children

                         

                        Presumably coming soon:

                         

                        • Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
                        • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson
                        • Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
                        • Rabbit Redux, by John Updike
                        • Rabbit is Rich, by John Updike
                        • Rabbit at Rest, by John Updike

                        By the way, Midnight's Children is less expensive at B&N than at Amazon.

                         

                        • 9. De-exclusived backlist "Rabbit" titles now on B&N
                          Doug_Pardee

                           

                          John Updike's "Rabbit" titles are now available on B&N:

                           

                          Rabbit Run

                            

                          Rabbit Redux

                            

                          Rabbit Is Rich

                            

                          Rabbit at Rest

                           

                           

                          Two titles are still to come:

                           
                          • Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
                          • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson

                           

                          By the way, Penguin is now negotiating with Wylie over The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow and Junky by William Burroughs. It's not clear whether those negotiations will result in Amazon losing their exclusive on those titles or not.

                           

                          • 10. Re: Amazon 2-year exclusive on some big backlist titles

                            Sargent has some nerve complaining about Wylie's tactics, when he, more than any other publisher, has behaved like a little tyrant.  I really hope he sees an impact of his short-sighted behavior; the only way he'll see that is if authors complain about drops in sales.If it annoys Sargent, bully for Wylie.