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…

More Bad Behaviour From Agents, Publishers & VS Naipaul

It’s the hottest day of the year here in Stockholm, so I thought I would give you a quick weekend round-up before heading out to carbonize my skin work on my manuscript. There are some legal issues discussed below. I should point out that I am not a lawyer and anything below should not be considered legal advice. These are my opinions only. If you are affected by any of this issues, I strongly urge you to seek independent legal advice from an IP lawyer with experience in such matters.

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…