In the most recent issue of Writer’s Digest magazine, you’ll find my feature article, “The Evolving Agent.” I discuss how literary agents’ business models and services are changing to fit the needs of their clients, who are increasingly self-publishing or choosing hybrid paths.
The article covers:
- the value of agent-assisted self-publishing
- what happens when agents use third parties to assist you (e.g., Argo Navis or Amazon White Glove)
- specific agencies that assist with self-publishing and what their terms are
- what questions to ask an agent before having them assist with self-publishing
Regarding that last point, here are a few of those questions to ask:
- Who covers the costs associated with self-publishing? In most cases, the author covers the cost, but sometimes the agent will cover expenses and deduct them from the author’s earnings.
- Who controls the rights to the self-published work? (It should be the author.)
- How long must you commit to giving the agent 15 percent of sales on the work? (It shouldn’t be indefinitely.)
- How/when can the agreement be terminated?
To read the full article, buy the October 2014 issue of Writer’s Digest, available in print or as a digital download.
For additional context, I also highly recommend reading:
- Agent-Assisted Self-Publishing and the Amazon White Glove Program by Melissa Foster
- Why I Left My Agent and New York Publisher by Claire Cook