Makinson told Publisher’s Weekly that the backlist titles involved only represent a small percentage of the company’s total revenue. “I don’t think it’s a cosmic issue. We will continue to talk to the Wylie Agency and we will continue to talk to our authors about what is best for them,” he said.
Makinson’s response is the most forgiving so far. Random House threatened to sue Wylie and also said that they would no longer strike English-language deals with the literary agency. Macmillan CEO John Sargent critiqued the agency for keeping these books from consumers that don’t own Kindles or use Kindle apps. He said: “A basic tenet of publishing is that our function is to reach as many readers as we can.”