Pub Rants

Agenting in 2013

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STATUS: I spent 7 hours in the office yesterday revamping our text content for the new website. We are so so close to launching. I can’t wait. The new site is awesome. The new blogging medium is going to be hot!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now?  GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN by Frank Sinatra

Next week I head out to New York to speak at the 2013 Digital Book World (DBW) Conference. I’m rather honored to be sitting on a panel with the illustrious Jane Dystel (who  has repped a half a dozen successful self-publishing authors) and Steve Axelrod (who just recently did the first publicly announced print-rights only deal for his client Belle Andre).

I’m working on my talking points so I’ll have something intelligent to say. In this company, I had better! Ms. Dystel represented President Obama for his first book for goodness sakes.

She also recently did an interview for DBW entitled AGENTS UNWILLING TO ADAPT WON’T LAST. Worth a read as I could see myself saying every answer she gives.

Agents who haven’t already embraced assisting clients to make their books digitally available are behind. What started off as an added service to assist authors in finding their audience (as part of the evolving role of agents in this rapidly changing digital landscape) has fast morphed into being a necessary service to offer. As Ms. Dystel so aptly points out, it’s now, more than ever, our job to help writers connect with audiences.

In whatever medium, form, channel, or type of deal necessary.

In one year, I’m astounded at how fast the gross revenues are growing for authors who opted to publish through NLA’s digital platform. Even authors who are digitally publishing on their own use our digital platform for venues they can’t have direct access to. Those venues don’t have the advantage of being as big as Amazon (hands down the largest seller of ebooks) but even with these “smaller venues” revenues are growing from several hundred dollars a month to several thousands a month in just a few short months.

It’s a bit crazy to watch.

Two authors of mine have comfortably quit their day jobs because of their digital publishing success. And who knows, maybe I’ll be contracting print-only deals for them, like I did for Howey, in the not so distant future.

Agents — if you haven’t started, the time was yesterday to jump on this bandwagon as I’m fairly certain, it won’t be going away.

DBW Panel: Straddling The Models: Authors Choosing to Both Self- and Traditionally Publish.

6 Responses

  1. Joseph L. Selby said:

    It’s the sword hanging above our head that big publishing must evolve to a more equitable ebook royalty rate without undermining itself and its staff. Everything is so intertwined with old business models that this evolution will be both painful and (figuratively) violent.

  2. Neurotic Workaholic said:

    I had my doubts about digital publishing and e-readers at first, but now I think it’s great because it motivates more people to read more books. And I have my own Nook now, and I’ve been buying more books online because of it.

  3. Anonymous said:

    I am going to be doing a series on my weebly blog on the ‘changing publishing industry’. Would it be possible to quote some of this citing you as the author, of course!

    Susan Curnow

  4. Ann Noser said:


    A writing friend recommended your newsletter. What I’ve read online looks great, but I can’t find the subscription link on your website. Perhaps it was missed in the “remodeling” process?

    thanks much,
    Ann Noser