seawasp (seawasp) wrote,

And the industry is changing...

... in more ways than just E-books. See this post by Kristine Kathryn Rusch -- and other related posts she has made of late. Short form: in at least some cases -- and apparently far more widespread than initially thought -- the business models have shifted to the point that many agents are not performing the original and primary duty as author's defenders, contract watchdogs, and hardass negotiators. As that's the primary POINT of having an agent, this means that -- if true -- these agents have essentially BECOME exactly what the worst naysayers used to SAY they were, just leeches taking 15% for nothing more than making you sign a publisher's contract.

She doesn't say that *ALL* agents are like this, of course, but she does paint a very, VERY disturbing picture of how the industry has become more self-contained, less accommodating, and how the agencies and publishers have become more intertwined with each other. If even 20% of the agents end up in this category, it calls into question whether it's worthwhile to look for an agent -- since you have a significant chance of choosing one that is genuinely NOT acting in your interest, but in the interest of the PUBLISHER. In point of fact, Ms. Rusch answered that question point-blank and said, flat out, that I was in fact wasting my time looking for an agent and had best do it all myself.

I have NEVER had an experienced long-time writer in the business say that before; it has been the UNIVERSAL advice until this point that you not only should have an agent, you NEED an agent to do well.

This is... game-changing news, if it's at all true.
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