A literary agency’s decision to publish e-editions of ”Lolita,” ”Invisible Man” and other classics and sell them exclusively through Amazon.com received a mixed response from the Authors Guild, which represents thousands of published writers.In an e-mail sent Monday to authors, the Guild defended the Wylie Agency’s right to sell e-books of older works without the publisher’s permission, but also criticized excluding Amazon’s competitors and worried about ”serious potential conflicts of interest” when an agent becomes a publisher.
”The most obvious of these (conflicts) is the possibility of self-dealing to the detriment of the agency’s client, the author,” the Guild’s message said. ”A major agency starting a publishing company is weird, no matter how you look at it.”
Except when you look at it as another indication that publishing is dramatically changing. The change is happening at such a fast pace that even the Guild is having trouble grasping it.