2/19/08

LDS Agents

Say there was someone silly enough to work for chicken feed, and they decided to become an agent for LDS authors in the LDS market. What are the odds that the publishers would work with them?

Standard agenting fees are 15% of royalties (paid by the author), so unless you were really, really good at picking winners, it really would be chicken feed.

Would the publishers work with you? I don't know. It depends on whether they see you as an unpaid asset that will help them find the better manuscripts, or as a pain in the side who is going to insist on contract changes they don't want to allow.

I would be open to agents. I know some other smaller publishers who would. But I've also heard through industry gossip (so who knows if it's true or not) that some publishers flat out refuse to work with anyone who uses an agent, unless they're an author already established in the national market.

But assuming publishers are open to working with agents, there are two key stumbling blocks you have to overcome:

1. Convincing the publisher that your submissions are better than what's coming in the slush and that working with you is easier than working directly with the author.

2. Convincing the author that you have a better chance at getting them accepted than they have on their own, and that you can get them a better deal than they can get on their own.

Good luck.

1 comment:

Janet Jensen said...

Another factor to consider would be if the publisher offers advances. An agent could help to negotiate the advance to the author's advantage. The agent would then receive a portion of the advance.

Which leads to another question: how common are advances in the LDS publishing world? And how is an advance calculated?