Landmark digital-publishing deal falters

After entering an agreement a month ago, the Wylie Agency's deal with Amazon collapses under the protests of Random House.

After entering into a landmark deal with Amazon.com last month, a well-known literary agent has backed off its agreement with the online retailer.

The Wylie Agency had inked a deal with Amazon that made digital versions of some of its clients' titles, including Norman Mailer's "The Naked and the Dead" and Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man," available exclusively to Amazon's Kindle e-reader platform for two years.

The agreement was considered a landmark because it skirted the publishers of the books' paper editions and effectively offered more revenue to the authors or their estates.

Random House, which publishes 13 of the 20 titles that Wylie made available to Amazon, took issue with the agreement. According to The Wall Street Journal, the publishing house struck a deal with Wylie that will see digital versions of the titles made available by the publisher in the Kindle store.

The Journal reported that Amazon removed the 13 e-books in question on Tuesday, but a Random House representative told the Journal that the titles will be back in the Kindle store "within a week."

Details of the deal that Wylie struck with Random House were not disclosed.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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