Friday, August 27, 2010

Penguin in 'conversation' with Andrew Wylie over Odyssey titles

26.08.10 - Philip Jones - The Bookseller

Penguin has confirmed that it is negotiating with agent Andrew Wylie over books that have been included in the agent's digital offshoot Odyssey Editions over which Penguin has print rights. The news follows the truce declared between Random House and Wylie, with reports suggesting that a deal was struck after the adoption of a new royalty rate based on a sliding scale.

According to Publishers Weekly the royalty is based on a certain number of books selling over a specified period of time and, depending on what's negotiated, the rate will rise per the rate of sale, up from the standard 25% to a new rate of 40%. A PW source claimed this new approach was a "good rate" and will spark the other major houses to follow suit with similar offers. However, according to Publishers Marketplace the "agreements are strictly limited to titles that are 'in dispute' and do not indicate any willingness to move beyond already granted or offered rates on titles where there is no dispute". The agreements also make it clear that "no one else will get more", according to one agent anonymously quoted on the site.

In a comment made on the PM story, Trident chairman Robert Gottlieb, was positive about the negotiations with Random House: "Trident gave Marcus [Dohle, RH chief executive] and his associates our reasoning and I was very pleased with Random House's response in the following meeting. In these challenging arena of these publishing times Random House is leading the way in connection with back list ebook rights discussions. They have decided, which I agree with, not to go after authors in the courts but rather to work out good terms with the author's agencies who work on behalf of their clients."
Full story at The Bookseller.

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