There’s a lot of talk going around about what agents are and are not doing in light of the sudden popularity of self-publishing in digital format. Mostly, I see people blogging about things they have misunderstood, or getting their definitions mixed up. For instance, independent publishing and self-publishing are not the same. Likewise, helping your client arrange to have their book digitally published through an established entity (Amazon for Kindle, Nook, Kobo) does not make you a publisher. So, to set the record straight:
The Knight Agency is made up of agents. We are not publishers, we have no desire to become publishers. We love being agents, we love working with our clients to help them build their careers. We act as middle men between our clients and their publishers so that they can continue to do the work of writing.
In that vein, we are implementing a program that will help our clients who are interested in digital self-publication. Our program includes our taking on the prep work that an author would do to self-publish on their own: finding cover art, converting the format, securing the copyright for their work, obtaining ISBNs, etc. We are not actually publishing anything, but working with the various self-publishing programs at major e-retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, etc. We are not taking a publisher’s commission or cut, but just our standard agency rate of 15%.
This is a service we offer our clients, and only our clients, who are interested in pursuing digital publication for backlist titles that have gone out of print or were never available in digital format, and select new projects that have been unable to find a publisher through traditional methods. We hope that our efforts will allow the authors to focus on their writing instead of getting bogged down in the details of prepping a book for a self-publishing entity. Also, we believe as agents we can offer more in the way of marketing assistance and so on than an author could achieve on their own. But at the end of the day, it’s just another option for our clients.
For more, here’s Lucienne Diver’s take on our program, as well.
2 thoughts on “For the Record”
I’ve seen several agencies make similar announcements lately, but I think yours was the best-phrased in terms of laying out exactly what you do and why it’s not a conflict of interest (even though you didn’t say those terms). It’s clear and concise, and bravo!
Thanks so much for the feedback. We’ve tried hard to be clear and open about the entire process, so it’s good to hear from people who feel we’ve achieved those goals.
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