A New York PR agency has decided to bridge the gap between publicizing their clients and actually repping for them by forming its own literary agency. Orchard Literary, part of Orchard Strategies, “is a Manhattan based literary agency that represents a select group of top experts and authors. In partnership with an award-winning public relations practice, Orchard Literary offers a unique environment for authors to build profiles and find exceptional literary representation.”
I’m not fully convinced of the inherent synergies in this arrangement. Literary agents are usually about far more than publicity, which is supposed to be what the publisher’s marketing and promotional department is supposed to take care of, after all. And even though literary agents may also often be heavily involved in reputation management for their authors, their key interface is supposed to be with the publishers who may or may not publish their authors’ books, after all. That’s where their compensation is supposed to come from. Other firms have also tried this approach, but their various properties and capabilities seem a closer and more obvious fit than Orchard.
Orchard’s apparent writer focus may render these objections irrelevant. Representative authors so far include Betsy Helmuth, “founder and owner of Affordable Interior Design in New York City,” and Dr. Doni Wilson, “a nationally celebrated naturopathic doctor and nutritionist who teaches women, men, and children how to make life-changing differences to improve their health using natural approaches.”
Anyway, for better or worse, there is now at least one more example of this combination out there. How it fares remains to be seen, though.