Literary Agency Sells 520 Books In One Deal, Raising Questions

Last week, Curtis Brown (UK) signed a deal for 520 of their authors’ backlist titles to be published by Pan Macmillan’s new imprint Macmillan Bello. 120 titles will be released between November and the end of the year, with 400 more coming in 2012, and the books will be available in both digital and POD formats. Regular readers might remember that, in May, Curtis Brown were considering a move into publishing after fellow-agent Ed Victor launched his own imprint Bedford Square Books. At the time, Jonathan Lloyd, the managing director of Curtis Brown, was quoted by The Bookseller as saying, “Where Ed Victor leads, others follow – and we are right behind him, but with a rather larger list.” However, Mr. Lloyd Read More…

Rip-Offs, Terrible Advice & Zombie Memes

It’s been a while since we had a link party, so let’s dive right in to this seething mess of rip-off publishing services, terrible self-publishing advice from “top” literary agents, and the reappearance of a zombie e-publishing meme. And that’s just for starters. Hold on to your hats! Reaching Out To Readers My (almost) weekly column for IndieReader.com is live, and today I’m Reaching Out To Readers. For the click-lazy, it’s about getting beyond your writer-filled Twitter stream and connecting with the people who will not just buy your work, but champion it. On that note, I’ve created a safe place where I can meet readers with similar interests where they won’t get assailed with sales reports, pricing strategies, or shop Read More…

Rip-Offs, Terrible Advice & Zombie Memes

It’s been a while since we had a link party, so let’s dive right in to this seething mess of rip-off publishing services, terrible self-publishing advice from “top” literary agents, and the reappearance of a zombie e-publishing meme. And that’s just for starters. Hold on to your hats! Reaching Out To Readers My (almost) weekly column for IndieReader.com is live, and today I’m Reaching Out To Readers. For the click-lazy, it’s about getting beyond your writer-filled Twitter stream and connecting with the people who will not just buy your work, but champion it. On that note, I’ve created a safe place where I can meet readers with similar interests where they won’t get assailed with sales reports, pricing strategies, or shop Read More…

Major US Agency Moves Into Publishing. Or Do They?

It seems like the big news stories are coming every day now. That’s what happens when you combine the disruptive power of the internet with a revolutionary change like digital self-publishing. In an announcement that is sure to cause some surprise, Dystel & Goderich – agents for Barack Obama, Judge Judy, John Locke, Joy Bauer, David Morell, and Richard Dreyfuss – have announced a move into publishing. Or have they? I have made my feelings about agents moving into publishing quite clear on a number of occasions, and have always attempted to highlight the egregious practices that are becoming more common. However, before we grab the pitchforks and march on 5th Avenue, I’m going to ask for a moment to Read More…

Swimming Lessons & Radium Girls

Before I get to today’s blog post, I want to send you somewhere else! I have spoken about Wicked & Tricksy before. Well, one of the devious minds behind that operation – Claudie A. – has her own excellent blog which deals with the intersection of science and fiction. Claudie invited me over to her place today to write a guest blog, and I would love if you all you guys went over and had a read, because I really enjoyed writing it. It’s called Science, Fiction & Truth, and I talk about some of my heroes and prejudices in science fiction, what goes into a “high concept” idea, and the Radium Girls. Please check it out, and a big Read More…

Swimming Lessons & Radium Girls

Before I get to today’s blog post, I want to send you somewhere else! I have spoken about Wicked & Tricksy before. Well, one of the devious minds behind that operation – Claudie A. – has her own excellent blog which deals with the intersection of science and fiction. Claudie invited me over to her place today to write a guest blog, and I would love if you all you guys went over and had a read, because I really enjoyed writing it. It’s called Science, Fiction & Truth, and I talk about some of my heroes and prejudices in science fiction, what goes into a “high concept” idea, and the Radium Girls. Please check it out, and a big Read More…

A Bad Week For Agents

Even God got a day off on Sunday, so here’s some stuff for you guys to chew on, while I try and get a story finished. A Bad Week For… Agents Agents made a lot of headlines this week. First we had top UK agent Ed Victor announcing the launch of his publishing imprint. Fellow agent Peter Cox bravely called for him to be thrown out of the Association of Author’s Agents (quote in comments at end). 

Double agents?

In our mad dash around the new publishing landscape, there’s one group we have only mentioned in passing: agents. Nothing in the publishing world inspires more diverse reactions than the mention of agents. For some, agents are the holy grail, the star-makers, the gatekeepers to the dream factory. Others are less kind, and I won’t repeat their opinions, but suffice to say they view agents as amoral Svengalis who, like recruitment agents, have created a need for their services where before there was none, and are an additional, superfluous barrier between writers and publishers (and readers). The truth is somewhere in the middle, and agents, like any profession, run the full gamut of experience, ability, and propriety. There are some Read More…