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ABA CEO Oren Teicher Criticizes Wylie Amazon Deal

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Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, is not happy about the Amazon’s exclusive deal with the Wylie Agency’s new digital imprint Odyssey Editions.

Last week, the literary agency struck an exclusive deal with the retailer to release eBook titles by acclaimed authors including Philip Roth, Ralph Ellison and Norman Mailer.

In a story published on Bookselling This Week, Teicher said that the evolving business models are “multifaceted” and “at times, complex,” but he does not think that limiting the distribution of titles to one retailer is the answer.

He goes one: “From the perspective of independent booksellers one important reality is unchanged: Diminishing the availability of titles and narrowing the options for readers can only harm our society in the long run. That the Wylie agency has sought to distribute these works through a single retailer is bad for the book industry and bad for consumers. Books — in whatever format — are crucibles of ideas and unique expression, and we should be doing all that we can to expand, not constrict, readers’ access to them.”

Random House and Macmillan are also against the deal, though Penguin CEO John Makinson doesn’t think it is such a big deal.

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