Thursday, August 06, 2015

How A Publisher's Decision Impacts the Author/Agent Relationship

Recently you've spoken about the changes at Berkley and how that has impacted authors. I was wondering how that impacts the author/agent relationship? If an author has their series dropped does an agent drop them as well? Or do you work together to find a new direction for the author to take their writing? 

Thank you for your great question. As I've mentioned many times before, I love questions.

As you should all know by now each situation is different so while I will speak generally on this, I'm sure every author's experience is different, whether it pertains to Berkley or simply a career experience in general.

At BookEnds we like to say that we're in it for life. When we sign an author we believe strongly enough to really want to stay through the long haul; the good, the bad and the ugly. Selling a client's book is the easy part, maintaining and continuing to grow and build a career is where it can get tricky. 

Just because one publisher makes a decision doesn't mean every publisher will feel the same. A publisher choosing not to renew a contract, in my mind, isn't a good reason to simply drop the author. As long as the author is determined and continuing to write great (or better) books, I will stick by through whatever the publishing world throws at us. 

In a situation where a publisher doesn't renew, the author and I will have conversations about what's next, but as many of my authors can attest, we often have those conversations well before any decision is made by the publisher. I'm a strong believer that every author should always have something in her back pocket.

A good agent should see the writing on the wall. We see sales numbers and talk to the publisher enough to know what might be coming so, in truth, we're prepared and ready to go with that next thing well before an official decision by the publisher is made.

In short, one decision from a publisher will not impact how I work with an author.



Elissa M said...

I like that you're proactive and keeping an eye out for whatever may lie ahead for your authors. In my mind, that's another reason why every author should have a good agent on their side.

AJ Blythe said...

The more I learn about everything an agent does for their client the more determined I am to sign with an awesome agent!

It's a relief to know that non-renewal of a contract with a publisher doesn't leave you right back at square one. And if the writing is on the wall, hopefully, as you said, it means there'll be something in the wings ready and waiting to pitch to the publisher.

I wonder how often a series ends because of the author or because sales have forced the end?