Random House says it will no longer deal with Wylie Agency

Random House says it will no longer deal with Wylie Agency

<p>Random House has upped the ante in the dispute with agent Andrew Wylie over digital rights saying that the group &quot;on a worldwide basis will not be entering into any new English-language business agreements with the Wylie Agency until this situation is resolved&quot;. Random House said it now regarded the Wylie Agency as &quot;our direct competitor&quot;.</p><p>The move follows Wylie&#39;s decision to set up an e-book publishing company <a href="../news/124047-agent-andrew-wylie-launches-e-book-list-on-kindle.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/124047-agent-andrew-wylie-launches-e-b... Editions</a>, which will publish a selection of Wylie&#39;s clients exclusively in Kindle format after striking a two-year deal with Amazon. Authors on the 20 strong debut list includes titles by Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, Philip Roth, and John Updike. The deal has brought swift condemnation from Random House US, Macmillan US chief John Sargent, and UK bookseller Waterstone&#39;s.</p><p><a href="../news/124077-random-house-us-questions-legality-of-wylie-kindle-deal.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/124077-random-house-us-questions-legal... House US had earlier said it had sent a letter to Amazon disputing Wylie&#39;s right to &quot;legally sell these titles, which are subject to active Random House publishing agreements&quot;</a>.&nbsp; But a new statement issued by Random House spokesperson Stuart Applebaum went even further: &quot;The Wylie Agency&#39;s decision to sell e-books exclusively to Amazon for titles which are subject to active Random House agreements undermines our longstanding commitments to and investments in our authors, and it establishes this agency as our direct competitor. Therefore, regrettably, Random House on a worldwide basis will not be entering into any new English-language business agreements with the Wylie Agency until this situation is resolved.&quot;<br /><br />The move was also condemned by Macmillan US chief executive Sargent in a <a href="http://blog.macmillanspeaks.com/macmillan-response-to-wylie-exclusive-pu... target="_blank" title="http://blog.macmillanspeaks.com/macmillan-response-to-wylie-exclusive-pu... post</a>. Sargent wrote that if Wylie wanted to &quot;disintermediate publishers, that is his right&quot;, but added that he was &quot;appalled&quot; that Wylie had &quot;chosen to give his list exclusively to a single retailer&quot;. He wrote: &quot;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.&quot; Sargent said he could understand why Amazon wanted an exclusive deal but added that it was &quot;an extraordinarily bad deal for writers, illustrators, publishers, other booksellers, and for anyone who believes that books should be as widely available as possible&quot;.<br /><br />The deal also has implications for UK booksellers and publishers, with Amazon saying that 11 of the first 20 titiles would be available to download globally. Though it was not clear which titles were available internationally, an analysis showed that Penguin appears to be the most affected by the launch, with its UK arm being the print publisher of seven Odyssey authors, while RH UK was home to four, Harper to three, Picador to two, and Faber to one. </p><p>UK bookseller Waterstone&#39;s told <em>The Bookseller</em> earlier that it was <a href="../news/124077-random-house-us-questions-legality-of-wylie-kindle-deal.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/124077-random-house-us-questions-legal... by the deal</a>. David Kohn, Waterstone&#39;s head of e-commerce, said: &quot;It does not help build the market, nor does it serve readers well.&quot;</p>