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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Wylie’

Andrew Wylie: eBook Deals ‘Currently On Hold’

wylie.jpgIn a long profile in the current issue of Harvard Magazine, agent Andrew Wylie revealed that eBook deals are “currently on hold across the board” at his famous agency, and cautioned publishers that he could take eBook rights elsewhere.

Wylie’s agency counts 700 clients, including major writers like Dave Eggers, Al Gore, Philip Roth, and Louise Erdrich–so these are not idle threats. eBookNewser has more about the article.

Here is an excerpt: “Wylie threatens to monetize those unassigned rights by going outside the publishing business entirely: ‘We will take our 700 clients, see what rights are not allocated to publishers, and establish a company on their behalf to license those e-book rights directly to someone like Google, Amazon.com, or Apple. It would be another business, set up on parallel tracks to the frontlist book business.’”

Penguin Press Reportedly Paid $5 Million for “Game Change” Sequel

gamechanged.jpgTIME magazine’s Mark Halperin (pictured, via) and New York‘s John Heilemann‘s bestselling behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 election, Game Change, will reportedly have a $5 million sequel.

Yesterday Crain’s New York reported that Penguin Press publisher Ann Godoff and literary agents Andrew Wylie and Scott Moyers negotiated a $5 million deal for a book about the 2012 election from the bestselling authors. With memoirists Sarah Palin and Barack Obama running around in 2012, it should be a literary election season.

Here’s more from the article: “‘This is presidential memoir level money,’ said one executive familiar with the deal… [it] harks back to a period before the recession ate into book sales and put pressure on houses to hold down costs. But the giant price tag is also representative of a trend among publishers toward making bigger bets on known commodities.”

Playboy Snags First Serial Rights to Vladmir Nabokov Novel

31zJaLxIJEL._SS500_.jpgIn a literary victory for the magazine we all read for the short stories, Playboy will publish 5,000-words of “The Original of Laura” by Vladmir Nabokov in December, one week before the novel hits bookstores.

The NY Observer reports on the fascinating bidding process as the magazine’s literary editor Amy Grace Loyd pursued agent Andrew Wylie for the rights to the story. Knopf will publish the unfinished novel in the United States, and Penguin UK will handle the UK edition.

Here’s more from the article: “‘I’m happy to tell you we’ve never paid this much for a book excerpt before, ever,’ Ms. Loyd said, adding: ‘There are parts of it that are much more cohesive than others. But I found it fascinating in that way.’”

Vladimir Nabokov’s Notecard Novel

180px-Nabokov_book_cover2.jpgPenguin UK will publish Vladimir Nabokov‘s final, unfinished work, “The Original of Laura,” while Knopf will handle the US version. The author left behind the novel on a series of 138 notecards, and ordered his family to destroy them when he died in 1977.The hardcover book will feature photos of each card, matched with transcripts of the notecard text on the facing page.

According to Bookseller, Nabokov’s son decided to publish, and literary agent Andrew Wylie negotiated a six-figure deal for the notecards.

Penguin Classics editor Alexis Kirschbaum explained in the article: “I’m an avid, obsessed fan of Nabokov and for other fans it’s incredibly interesting to see his handwriting and read his prose–not necessarily extremely polished, but you can still see kernels of genius in everything he wrote.” (Via MobyLives)

Andrew Wylie Creates a Stir in France

In many ways, the French literary world operates in a very old-school manner. How else to explain that the vast majority of publishing deals are brokered directly between author and publisher? But the backlash against the roaring success of Jonathan Littell‘s LES BIENVILLIANTES was in part due to the book’s representation by a high-powered literary agent, and as the New York Sun’s Kate Taylor reports, things are about to get even more controversial now that uberagent Andrew Wylie‘s come to town.

With Wylie’s recent announcement in Le Monde that he has signed three French writers – two novelists, Christine Angot and Philippe Djian, and a journalist, Florence Hartmann – is, Taylor says, the equivalent of throwing a hand grenade into the traditional world of French publishing. In Wylie’s view – which he has already laid out in a sharp exchange of letters with the publisher André Schiffrin, of the New Press – this structure is to blame for many of French literature’s ills, from its failure to make a substantial impact abroad to its stylistic solipsism. “[I]f you were trying to buy a company in England, you wouldn’t call your accounting department and have them speak to the accounting department of the company in England. You would go chief executive to chief executive.”

Of course, publishers see things rather differently, especially with regards to the customary 50% stake in subsidiary rights. “This seems huge, but it’s also what allows publishers to take risks on authors and on works that won’t necessarily sell well,” said Paul Otchakovsky-Laurens, director of the French publishing house P.O.L. Editeur. “I have the impression that in the U.S., the big publishers only publish books that can be marketed, and the difficult books are published by small presses or university presses, so they are marginalized. In France, the same editors publish unknown authors, and authors who will never sell a lot of books, like poets, and best sellers.”

Ed Victor Still the Man in Britain

Keeping up today’s agent theme, the Observer’s Stephanie Merritt profiles Ed Victor, who may be Andrew Wylie‘s mirror twin or at least his equal in terms of longstanding, reputation and dealmaking. But when it comes to society mentions, Victor is the clear, um, victor – a few years ago, he and his wife, Carol, were named second on Tatler’s list of the most invited guests in London, just behind Elton John. “The adjective that has most often accompanied my name in the press is “flamboyant”,” Victor has said, though it can hardly be a complaint.

He may be known for mingling with celebrities and his multimillion dollar deals, Merritt explains, but he does literary substance as well: he represented Iris Murdoch and continues to look after her estate, and recently took on John Banville after his Booker Prize win. “I was surprised that he didn’t do more authors like her, for such a clever man,” says fellow agent David Godwin, “but he chose to concentrate on the popular books. It may be that as an enterprising agent, he felt he could do more to build those kind of authors than for someone like Iris.” And considering how big Victor seems to have scored with the Alastair Campbell diaries most recently, he still feels that way…

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