Monday, November 29, 2010

Strictly Agent Territory

I’m curious about the opinion you and Kim have about the rise in e-books and the rights therein. Is this an issue authors should pay closer attention to, or is it strictly agent territory—or perhaps, is it the responsibility of both parties?

There is nothing in this business that is “strictly agent territory.” As the author and owner of your business (your author brand), it is imperative that you learn about the business and keep yourself apprised of what is going on. When I look at those authors who have truly achieved success, there is one thing all of them have in common, and that’s knowledge of publishing as a business. That doesn’t mean they necessarily understand every clause in a contract (a smart author also surrounds herself with smart people), but she does make an effort to understand the contract as a whole, the rights she’s licensing to others, and what the options are for her career. She works as a team with those smart people she’s hired, which means she has conversations with her agent about the contract and the rights that are being licensed, she discusses design and style with her website designer, and she works hand in hand with her publicist to come up with the next brilliant publicity idea.

So the answer is a resounding: It’s the responsibility of both parties to understand and seek knowledge about not just digital rights, but all rights as they pertain to the book.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ebook rights seem to be changing all the time.

I'm seeing more of a new model now where a small/medium press will offer new writers an ebook only contract with a 50/50 royalties split, and if it does well enough, a print contract (with advance) is offered.

1) would agents typically be interested in representing authors with this type of contract, or only if there is an up front advance being offered?


2) I guess if you can 'sell' the ebook to 1 publisher and the print to a different one, then that's okay, right? As long as the contract doesn't somehow tie up the print rights until performance con be established (can they contractually do that?)