Amazon has announced that they have struck a E-Book deal with Andrew Wylie, who is the head of an exclusive New York agency, whose clients include Salmon Rushdie, Oliver Sacks and Phillip Roth. Andrew also represents the estates of William S. Burroughs of the Beat Generation fame.
Amazon will be exclusively carrying the works of these authors in its E-Book Store, which caters to the Kindle line of E-Readers. This is a two prong effect, for one this deal cuts out the auhors paperback dealers out of the loop. It also puts Amazon ahead in the very competitive e-book store arena.
Exclusive deals like this is nothing new in the literary world of publishing and the E-Book world. As the e-book market heats up, there’s going to be some real competition for talent, and talent is going to start pushing for deals as well. Take James Patterson for example, who sells the most electronic books on Amazon. In a recent report in a three month period he has sold 800,000 E-Books. You can be sure that has authors like himself get better deals offered to them for royalties percentage, authors will begin to wield more bargaining power then they have had in the past.
Over the next few years we are likely to see a profound shift in famous Authors establishing exclusive relationships with dedicated E-Book Store. Are you a fan of Charlaine Harris? If you want her in e-book form, you need a Kindle.
This has the potential to be a rather harrowing endeavor for the average customer who wants to buy one e-reader and read books that have been assigned to another. Having book stores roping up exclusive deals, means you will likely have to purchase more than one device in order to read books in electronic form.
You can bet your bottom dollar that the major e-book stores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Boarders, and Kobo are aware of this situation and might try to fight it with time sensitive exclusive deals. Maybe we will see a situation where exclusive deals on new novels are done with one major e-book store for the first few months, and then others get a chance to sell the book. Or, maybe we will see a sales based model, where the first 400,000 copies sold are with Amazon, and then the other stores get to market the book as well.
As the exclusive deals that Amazon has just struck mainly permeate in the digital world, it does have a profound effect on the paperback world. When Amazon made this deal, it was likely without the knowledge or consent of the distribution companies that print the books, store them in a warehouse and then ship them to various book stores accross the country. With no notice given to tangible book world, it will create an escalating crisis of profound proportion.
The E-Book vs the Novel War is just begining, and Amazon has just fired the first shot.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.