More on the Ethics of Agent/Publishers. Courtney Milan Writes an Open Letter...
Courtney Milan has written an open letter to agents about this whole mess of agents starting publishing companies. She brings up so many valid points and this is part one of a two part letter. Go Read it here.
Everything Ms. Milan has to say resonates with me, in particular:
But you’re in a tough spot right now for a second reason. When it comes to assisting authors with self-publishing, agents know less than the authors. Your agent friends can help you if you don’t know something about a particular house. But they don’t know the right answers in self-publishing. There isn’t an agent out there that has the savvy that Bella Andre, Joe Konrath, and Amanda Hocking have in self-publishing. Not a one.
If you can’t figure out what you’re going to do to make it worthwhile for a Joe Konrath, or an Amanda Hocking, or a Bella Andre to stay with you, you don’t have a viable long-term business model. It’s that simple. If your business model is, “let’s hope my authors don’t figure out how to do things on their own,” you don’t have a business model. Your authors are figuring it out, and we’re happy to teach each other how to do it for free.
I know first hand how true this is. I have several well published friends who have been more than generous in helping me with self-publishing. I already know more than most agents do, and I definitely have a large group of authors I can ask questions of.
And the bottom line for me is this: How will agents market any better than I can? I can hire any plucky start up entreprenuer for a fraction of the cost and a one time fee to boot. Why would I give away a percentage of my sales over time? And we're talking an unknown number here as the e-pub industry grows like wildfire.
Please do your research. Don't find yourself giving away your hard work when you can reap those rewards yourself.