The New York Observer published an article last week concerning a deal that super literary agent Andrew Wylie, of the Wylie Agency, made with Amazon. According to the article, Wylie will be selling books by his clients (I will list some famouses at the bottom) directly to the Amazon Kindle, totally skipping over publishing companies like a game of hopscotch. Surely this is a trend that will up the agency’s revenue and enrage publishing companies all over the place. If this strategy works for Wylie, many agencies might start experimenting with the idea.
What makes this news relevant to my argument on exclusives is that Wylie will be selling the eBooks exclusively to the Amazon Kindle Store under the brand name Odyssey Editons. All of the titles in the Odyssey Editions are making their electronic debut, as they have never before been released in eBook format. Once you see the list of writers included in the editions, you will know why many publishers are undoubtedly preparing to push the big red panic button. Exclusives are a big a threat if more are maneuvered the way Wylie did. Amazon will be looking for more literary agencies to make direct deals with.
The list of Wylie’s clients/titles to be published include:
Junky by William S. Burroughs
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever
Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The Complete Rabbit Novels by John Updike