What brought about yesterday’s resolution to the Random House-Wylie standoff, and was Wylie really the loser that he appeared to be? Publishers Weekly hears that Random House has been maneuvering behind the scenes to appease agents:
One high-placed source with direct knowledge of the rights talks said the house has quietly been offering agents a better deal on backlist e-book rights for a brief period now.
The source said Random is offering a royalty built around a sliding schedule on e-book rights for backlist titles that can approach 40% “rather quickly.” The source explained that 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 based on the rate of sale.
Regardless, the question remains of what Wylie hoped to accomplish with the original gambit: Did he seriously intend to become an e-book publisher? Sara Weinman at DailyFinance thinks not. “The origins of Odyssey Editions seemed scatter-shot and unfocused at best,” she writes.
Maybe he just wanted to keep publishing people on their toes in the slow summer months.