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Wylie’s announcement also continues a tense and occasionally litigious territorial dispute between publishers and authors and agents: Control of rights to older books published before the e-book era, especially when contracts don’t refer specifically to electric settings. In a statement earlier Thursday, Applebaum said the publisher sent a letter to Amazon “disputing their rights to legally sell these titles, which are subject to active Random House publishing agreements.”

Other works from Odyssey include Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint” and Martin Amis’ “London Fields.” Odyssey also is publishing an e-edition of John Cheever’s collected stories. Cheever’s daughter, author Susan Cheever, wonders if he would have approved.

“I think he would have been torn,” she says of her late father. “He was a tremendously loyal man who famously stayed at The New Yorker even when they weren’t doing right by him. He had very good feelings about Knopf and Random house, with good reason.

“But in principle, I’m all for writers getting the largest percentage possible for their work.”