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Posts tagged literary agents

Planet Agent’s guide to UK agents already in firing line
September 15, 2014 | 10:25 am

agent hunter transparency-index-graphic1The UK "database of all UK literary agents, their agencies and publishers" Agent Hunter has released research, summarized in the form of the infographic included here, on the state of the UK agenting environment that has already attracted complaints and objections. As quoted by The Bookseller, the president of the Association of Authors Agents, Sam Edenborough, has protested that Agent Hunter is making “shrill criticisms.” Agent Hunter's claim is that "We’ve taken the massive amount of data on our site and produced the first ever comprehensive analysis of Planet Agent." The negative comments in the analysis focus on the exclusivity, lack...

Hugh Howey gets behind self-publishing for literature
May 27, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Hugh Howey[caption id="attachment_94689" align="alignright" width="150"] Hugh Howey[/caption] Hugh Howey recently posted a thoughtful piece on the future contribution of self-publishing to literary fiction which seems to have sort of got lost amid all the excitement over his latest AuthorEarnings report and the Hachette/Amazon face-off. It's no surprise to see him come out in favor of self-publishing in no uncertain terms - to whit, "Self-publishing will save literary fiction ." But as alway's it's worth hearing his arguments. Howey takes issue with the alarmist talk of Philip Gwyn Jones, former books publisher of Granta, in The Bookseller that literary publishing is in crisis, and...

Guide to How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent up for free on Amazon
May 22, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Lukeman agentThere's still plenty of (justifiable) debate over the need for literary agents in this post-disruption self-publishing age. Whatever your views on the value of agents, or the defensive posturing of certain senior representatives of the breed, though, you'd be a brave author or pundit to come out and claim that they conclusively have no use at all. So perhaps this Kindle Store freebie will be of some use to some of you out there. Yes, How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent, by New York literary agent Noah Lukeman, President of Lukeman Literary Management Ltd., is now up for free...

The midlist ghetto: Where no writer need go again?
April 9, 2014 | 5:11 pm

in-open-spacesThe Rumpus, a.k.a. "The online urban hipster coffee shop" (what? you mean you've never heard of "the online urban hipster coffee shop"? Where have you been wasting your time, loser? Starbucks?), just ran a piece by midlist author Russell Rowland on being a midlist author, entitled "Solidly Mid-List." It's that simple. And it's also a very good guide to, and track record for, the career of a midlist author, and where you go to get onto the midlist - if you choose to go that way instead of landing up there thanks to some awful mistake. "What happened? How did I...

UK Association of Authors Agents president says publishers can charge authors
February 14, 2014 | 12:35 pm

David Gaughran was kind enough to alert me to this piece in The Bookseller, which details some quite extraordinary revelations - and opinions - around a letter from Guy Rose of agency Futerman, Rose and Associates, shared online, which advised an author to either use a Kindle publishing services provider, or to go to a specific vanity press. Not surprisingly, the Bookseller headline quotes the head of the UK Society of Authors as being “very uncomfortable” about agents recommending vanity presses and other paid services to authors, and advises them to request disclosure of any financial relationship between agents and...

Literary sins you’ll love to commit, courtesy of Writer’s Digest
December 17, 2013 | 11:15 am

writer's digestPublishing Talk Daily, with its sometimes charmingly bizarre curatorial policy, has just picked up and headlined a piece from The Write Life dating back to August - but as it purports to be good writing advice and hasn't appeared on TeleRead yet, I thought I'd cover it. Entitled "The Worst Ways to Begin Your Novel: Advice from Literary Agents," the post describes some of the worst faux pas you can commit if you want the charmed circle of literary agents to mock and shun you. Which may not be a bad thing. Because many other great writers have done them...

Wylie’s jackal gums Amazon, cocks its leg over writers, readers
October 13, 2013 | 11:11 am

Veteran literary agent Andrew Wylie, who sports the charming sobriquet "The Jackal," recently gave vent to some spleen against Amazon and developments in the modern book world, in a New Republic interview that has already garnered ire from Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader and quite a few others. In an extended Q&A, much of whose tone and intellectual level can be gleaned from its subtitle "How the literary agent still makes millions off highbrow," Wylie, as Hoffelder delightfully puts it, "shits on readers and writers."And if you ever idly wondered what jackal shit smells like, now's your chance to find out. [caption...

Andrew Franklin’s back — in a faceoff over an unbelievable agenting internship auction
June 24, 2013 | 6:26 pm

Andrew FranklinAndrew Franklin, recently the subject of some fairly fierce criticism on TeleRead and elsewhere for his splenetic comments on self-publishing, has been in the headlines again in another spat—this time on the receiving end. The occasion, according to a report in the London Evening Standard, was a farewell dinner at London’s beautiful Wallace Collection for the retiring CEO of Orion Books, Peter Roche. According to the report, Michael Foster, the former head of major UK literary agency Peters, Fraser and Dunlop, confronted Franklin over comments the latter had made in The Bookseller about the auctioning of a PFD internship for £5,000 ($7,725) for charity. A...

Peter Riva relates a veteran agent’s perspective, from Antioch
June 12, 2013 | 11:21 am

Peter RivaU.S. literary agent Peter Riva (photo at left), co-founder of the wide-ranging agency International Transactions Inc.,  shared some thoughts on the position of agents, authors and publishers  in today’s digitally disrupted print universe with Lise Quintana, editor-in-chief of Lunch Ticket, “a literary journal from the MFA community at Antioch University Los Angeles.” Some were helpful, some surprising, some contentious, some revealing. For one thing, Riva clears up some lingering doubts about the publishing industry’s competence to ride herd on, and rein in, the woollier excesses of self-publishing writers with firm editorial discipline. “Writers have to realize that, with the exception of maybe...

Has the public perception of self-publishing finally changed?
February 11, 2013 | 12:00 pm

Self-publishing a book can come with pre-conceived notions from readers, other writers and even publishers. People used to think self-publishing a book meant it wasn’t good enough to get picked up by traditional houses. However, the stigma of self-publishing is changing. Success stories have become more and more abundant, and the shock those successes caused even five to 10 years ago is slowly beginning to dissipate. Those in the industry have watched the development closely. Smashwords founder Mark Coker began his site five years ago as an outlet for self-published authors. It started small and has grown into a site where nearly...

Bloomberg profiles Larry Kirshbaum, Amazon’s publishing chief
January 27, 2012 | 1:42 pm

flames-228x300Bloomberg Businessweek has a five-page profile on former publisher turned literary agent Larry Kirshbaum, who Amazon picked to head up its publishing division that is stirring up so much fear and loathing in the publishing industry. (The title of the piece, “Amazon’s Hit Man”, and the cover of the magazine issue featuring a burning book with the all-caps block-letter legend “AMAZON WANTS TO BURN THE BOOK BUSINESS” might be taken as some indication of that.) For all that the title and magazine cover are a bit (literally) inflammatory, the article is a reasonably balanced look at Kirshbaum’s career and...

Literary agents plumb alternative revenue streams
July 30, 2011 | 4:15 pm

The lines between authors, agents, and publishers used to be very clear and bright. Each one had certain things it did best, and the idea of authors or agents jumping into publishing themselves was all but unheard of. But with the rise of e-books and e-publishing, many authors have gone into publishing for themselves—and now a number of literary agents are doing so as well, for backlist titles traditional publishers have been less willing to touch. The Bookseller has a feature looking at some of these agents. For example, Ed Victor has branched his literary agency out into offering...