Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ellora's Cave, distributor? Pt. II

As it seems that several presses and a good number of authors have heard about Ellora's Cave's plans it seems reasonable to discuss this a little further. The basic deal being offered, fairly widely, seems to be:

* Nonexclusive distribution

* EC and distributed books intermingled but identified and searchable by press

* Charge of 40% of receipts but no fees unless additional services such as formatting are required

* Erotica and Romance only

* The arrangement is being proposed by way of the agent Ethan Ellenberg

* It seems that the majority of epublishers in the genre are receiving this invitation to participate

* It is not clear whether any presses have opted in at this point.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

ONLY Erotica, not romance.

Covers can't be "similar" to any EC covers.

Other, unexplained criteria have to be met, giving EC very wide discretion on who they list and who they don't.

The deal was offered, apparently, to about 30 small presses.

There's no way to verify sales figures, one must take EC at their word.

And, am I the only one who thinks it's bizarre and inappropriate that Engler's literary agent is handling the deal?

Anonymous said...

by "not romance," i mean no sweet romance. It must be erotic, along the lines of EC's heat levels.

kirsten saell said...

I'm starting to wonder what's the deal with agents getting involved in epublishing. They all seem to be doing it in ways that make me uncomfortable...

Katrina Strauss said...

And, am I the only one who thinks it's bizarre and inappropriate that Engler's literary agent is handling the deal?

That's been my biggest "Huh?" in all this. I'm also nodding my head at Kirsten's comment. At least two agents we know of now (being Ethan Ellenberg and Lori Perkins) wearing multiple hats and dipping their toes in the e-pub waters. I'm not decided on whether that's right or wrong, but I certainly find it a curious development.

Anonymous said...

As an author with EC, by way of several smaller presses, given today's economy and how paychecks are being stretched tighter and tighter, this entire concept makes me uncomfortable. I wish it were possible for authors to jointly discuss issues pertaining to sales and contracts without fearing reprisals, a safe haven, if you will. Too bad I'm unaware of one.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the other EC authors out there. Most of us have flagging sales especially after the EC release schedule increased, and we've also seen some bad editing due to too much books being put out. Now they want to pimp books from possibly 30 other epubs? That's just EC thinking of their bank account and not of their authors, and certainly not of quality of books, as we've seen lately. EC seemed to be pretty respected in the past and now more and more of us want to jump ship - which their contracts make it VERY hard to do.

Not a happy camper.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the other EC authors who have commented here. I also find it interesting that we're being told it's just a "rumor" and to emhasize the words "potential" and "being discussed" and yet, they've got an agent on board (why?) and have approached 30 smaller presses. Sounds like EC is talking out of both sides of their mouth, and I'm not inclined to believe either one of them. :(

Anonymous said...

I'm not the only one thinking this eerily coincides with the Ravenous Romance opening in december, am I? They're claiming such lofty goals to revolutionize the industry, they have an agent involved as does EC...what are the chances Ravenous and EC might have made some kind of joint venture deal? Ravenous has NY on their side apparently, EC has the erotic romance ebook market, I would NOT be surprised if the two events are somehow connected.

If so, and if they are moving to swallow up up to 30 small epresses, this could be a major "Corner the market for good" move. And in the end the only ones who don't profit are the authors, lost amongst the glut of books not published by the company they signed with.

That's my biggest issue. I signed with Ellora's Cave, for the exposure, the money and the name. I did not sign on to be mixed in with a bunch of publishers who are not EC. This sucks ass, and not in the fun, kinky way. :(

Amanda Young said...

Personally, this makes me wonder about the ground EC stands on. If they're doing so well, then why would they need to gain profits by selling work from their competitors. *shrug*

Anonymous said...

Where is the information coming from about the thirty presses that were approached? As an EC author myself, I didn't see that information anywhere. I doubt EC would release such proprietary information.

As far as how this might affect our sales, well, I'm of the opinion that a business is going to do what's right for that business. If EC feels this is a good move in order to bring in more income, then that's a decision the higher-ups must make. I don't blame any company for wanting to improve the bottom line providing its not doing something that's illegal, immoral, or indecent.

EC didn't make any promises in regards to potential sales when I signed on with them, and I certainly can't blame them for each dip in sales, especially when there is no guarantee that sales will, indeed, dip because of this potential venture.

Personally, I think it's easy to question a business decision when you're not the one running the business. We don't see it from the other side of the desk, and we have no idea what's going on behind the scenes.

This is just my humble opinion, of course, but I think we should wait to see how this plays out before we allow it to raise our collective blood pressures.

Anonymous said...

Eight dittos in a row.

Amanda, the answer lies in one word: greed.

Anon@7:09, you sure have a familiar "voice".

I'm sorry, but I just can't support any "business decision" that enriches already rich queen bees and forces the drones to languish. Considering what's lately been happening on the national level--fatcats continually getting fatter while the rest of us pay the price--I find this more-is-never-enough attitude particularly odious and indefensible.

Anonymous said...

And, am I the only one who thinks it's bizarre and inappropriate that Engler's literary agent is handling the deal?

Wow. How fishy is that?

The stink, it intensifies.

Emily Veinglory said...

I am going to be mostly in airports and hotels for the next two days so this is just a reminder--try and stay focussed on the topic and as emotion-free as possible. Thanks :)

Angelia Sparrow said...

What I'm hearing is that they're tryng to set up a distribution site, like Fictionwise.

EC books only on the EC site.
Affiliate books and EC books on the distribution site.

It seems like a move to get as much exposure as possible for as many books as possible. (which raises the question of why they don't sell on Fictionwise)

Anonymous said...

If they sold on Fictionwise they'd have to give some money to FW. If they set up their own ebook distribution site they get other publisher's money.

I wonder if this will mean that other publishers will be able to participate in their EC conference they were planning...?

December/Stacia said...

You guys--

Ethan Ellenberg is EC's agent, not just Jaid Black's.

Mr. Ellenberg handles all of EC's cross-publishing deals with Pocket books and has for quite some time. EC authors, I'm pretty sure this is in your contracts.

There is nothing shady about him continuing to rep the company and vet/write up contracts.

Emily Veinglory said...

It may just be me but my understanding of what an agent is makes it hard to see how a publisher as an entity would have an agent, c.f. a lawyer.

December/Stacia said...

Because EC contractually holds the subrights for some works; Ellenberg sells those rights, like in the Pocket reprint deals. He (I assume) approached Pocket on EC's behalf and offered them those rights (much the way a packager would, heh heh); he negotiated the subrights/reprint deals with Pocket on behalf of EC as the rights holders and so, by extension, EC's authors who were involved or will be involved in the Pocket anthos.

(Disclaimer: this is based on my knowledge of the industry as a whole and my knowledge that Ellenberg reps EC's subrights, which is public knowledge on Ellenberg's website [and I believe the knowledge that EC keeps subrights from some authors is also public knowledge at this point]. I do NOT have, nor am I to my knowledge revealing, any propietary information.)

kirsten saell said...

Thanks, D, the whole thing makes much more sense now. I'm no longer feeling uncomfortable--well, not with Ellenberg's role in this, anyway.

I am still kinda nervous about the whole idea of this and what it could mean for EC's authors, other epubs and the industry as a whole...

Anonymous said...

I understand what you're staying, Stacia, and that's what I gathered too, but IMO, literary agents should not represent publishers. To me it's a conflict of interest, along the lines of Lori Perkins' involvement with Ravenous Romance.

Like Em, it just goes against what my view of a literary agent's function is.

Emily Veinglory said...

Indeed, I do not question that Ms. Blacks agent does also negtiotiate deals for EC. But are these two roles without conflict? I genuinely have no idea, but it seems to me that it is not impossible that Ms Black, EC as an entity and EC authors collectiviely and as individuals might have some conflicting interests as well as some common interests. For example ap ublisher wants to sell the maximum number of boosk total, but need not maximise the sales of any particular book. The author has a more moed set of priorities but natural want to maximise the benefits accrued to them from every book they write.

Teddy Pig said...

it is not impossible that Ms Black, EC as an entity and EC authors collectively and as individuals might have some conflicting interests


Sounds to me like Ethan there would be more interested in Ms. Black's profit and then Ellora's Cave profit and then, maybe possibly but don't count on it, the author's rights every time.

There is absolutely nothing transparent about this type of organizational nepotism.

Anonymous said...

EC will do what's good for EC. IMO it's the small presses who need to be thinking long and hard before taking any action.

December/Stacia said...

I understand what you're staying, Stacia, and that's what I gathered too, but IMO, literary agents should not represent publishers. To me it's a conflict of interest, along the lines of Lori Perkins' involvement with Ravenous Romance.


So who should sell the subrights publishers hang on to? Should those rights languish? When a writer, like many epublished writers, sell their first rights, they essentially use up all of their options. The publisher's agent can sell the rights to publish those books in anthologies. They can sell foreign rights. Ellenberg has done both for EC, thus making not only EC but the EC authors involved money for rights they never would have been able to sell themselves. How would I find a Spanish publisher for one of my already-published short stories without an agent who could represent those rights?

Agents represent publishers all the time. Agents sell publishing rights and negotiate contracts. To say an agent shouldn't ever represent a publisher is, forgive me, naive. It is a very different thing for a publisher to contact an agent to help them sell subrights than it is for an agent to actually own part of a publishing company and thus sell his or her own clients to that company. It is not a conflict of interest for an agent to represent a client, no matter what type of entity that client is.

Seems to me Ellenberg would be interested in protecting the rights of his clients. Full stop. Just because he reps Engler and EC does not mean they are one and the same as far as clients. He wants to get EC the best deal possible in the selling of subrights; by doing so he gets the EC authors involved the best deal possible.

They have every right to negotiate their own terms with EC for those subrights, and often do.

December/Stacia said...

BTW, I am not involved in any Spanish subrights deals with EC; I used it as an example, that's all.

Emily Veinglory said...

Agents sell their contracted clients subrights to publishers--when publishers sell subrights to other publishers the author needs to involve their own agent to protect their interests-- or advocate for themself. The person proofing the deal--whether or not the are an agent by profession-- is not acting as agent for client, that is as an author advocate. They are acting on behalf of the publisher's interests which overlap with but are not synonpmous with the authors interests

I feel we need to distinguish, these days, between whether a person is an agent, and whether the activity they are part of is within that kind of relationship

Treva said...

Professionals like attorneys, accountants, realtors have that issue all the time. It's a real ethics issue which can blow up on you even if you think all parties are informed and have consented because as soon as one party to the deal is unhappy, it might not matter what the agreement is. What matters is what party should have known what and what was said and how it was documented. I would assume EC and Jaid Black, for example, have worked out a very careful agreement about who is represented by their one agent.

December/Stacia said...

Agents sell their contracted clients subrights to publishers--when publishers sell subrights to other publishers the author needs to involve their own agent to protect their interests-- or advocate for themself.

But that's done when the original contract is negotiated.

Let's put it this way. I write a story. You, as head of Veinglory Publishing LLC, offer me a contract for it. I, and my agent if I have one, agree to let you have reprint rights in exchange for 50% (which is fairly standard according to Miss Snark) of whatever money YOU get from selling/exploiting those rights, and you tell me at the time of signing that Agent A represents you in subrights. I and my agent again agree, and we sign the contract.

So. You now own reprint rights to my work (or have leased them from me, however you want to word it.) You and Agent A approach Big Publisher B. Big Publisher B offers you 50% of the cover price for every copy they sell. You and your agent, Agent A, obviously want the most lucrative deal you can get, because that's what we all want; you want to earn as much from those rights as possible. 50% is the highest they'll go, so you take it.

Now you're getting 50% of cover price on every copy sold. And you in exchange pay me 50% of that, because we already negotiated on and agreed to that. There is no way our interests conflict here; we both want the best possible deal financially; why in the world would you agree to less money? You have to give me 50% no matter what. And even if there was some way they did conflict (I don't know of any but I'm not an expert, this is just based on conversations with my agent etc. If you know of some way in which our interests here conflict I'd be very interested to hear them, of course) it wouldn't matter. The time for me to negotiate my interests in that reprint deal was when I agreed to give you the rights in the first place.

I gave the rights to you; you own them. If I don't want you and Agent A selling/negotiating my subrights, I shouldn't give them to you to begin with. You and Veinglory LLC were upfront with me: This is what I might do, and this is who will handle it. Let's negotiate. Let's talk.

I'm not trying to fight here, but I am really genuinely confused as to why hiring an agent to represent subrights is a bad thing. Lots of agents handle subrights exclusively; I just don't see how that's wrong.

K. Z. Snow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K. Z. Snow said...

Forgive my ignorance. I can't figure out how we got on the subject of subrights. Is there some legal connection I'm missing?

Furthermore, I'm utterly befuddled by what role a literary agent -- who, I've always assumed, negotiated the sale of books and attendant rights, and served as an author advocate -- would play in setting up a distributorship. It's other companies that would be entrusting EC with their books, not the reverse.

And how, Stacia, would EC authors be "getting the best deal possible" out of this? How? And how can there not be a conflict of interest? Seems to me, this is like arguing that the same lawyer who represents a company could simultaneously represent the unions whose members are employed by that company. I'm not getting it.

Now, if Ellenberg were representing the entire stable of EC authors in some kind of collective deal with a NY print house, I might be able to wrap my mind around this. As the situation stands, however, Ellenberg is representing corporate interests -- correct? And it's a fundamental, historical fact of capitalism, generally speaking, that corporate interests and the needs, wants, and general betterment of employees/contractors/subcontractors are usually not harmonious.

I would love to hear an honest, sensible explanation of how exactly this set-up would benefit EC authors -- or, on the other hand, a frank admission that it wouldn't. And, frankly, I don't want to hear any blab about "driving more traffic to the site." More on-site traffic will financially benefit management, but I fail to see how individual authors will thrive if their titles are swamped by hundreds of additional, and similar, offerings.

I'm trying desperately not to have a cynical attitude toward this development.

Anonymous said...

On Jan. 21, 2008, this blog posted:
"Ellora's Cave are happy to let us know that in 2007 they released 414 new titles and in December they sold 74,000 copies in total. I would guess that would be a rather small proportion of the total number of titles released, but a hefty chunk of the copies sold? They also volunteer that average first month sales are 850-900 copies." I SURELY WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM VOLUNTEER NUMBERS FOR YTD 2008.

Anonymous said...

You call it naive. I call it a conflict.

I'm an author, but I'm also an attorney. While, in certain situations, I could represent both parties to a contract, I shouldn't. Ever. Interests that seem to be in line at the start frequently diverge. You never know where things will end up.

Representing EC as a publisher to, say, Pocket for their anthos is one thing. Approaching small epublishers on behalf of EC in an attempt to set up a distribution is entirely another.

And, for the record, of the publishers that I personally have spoken to about their being approached and offered contracts (which I have seen), it was Ellenberg who did the approaching. It's not the same as going to another publisher and saying, "I have a product (the book, or certain rights to the book), and I think you'd like to buy it."

K. Z. Snow said...

You know, I'm starting to feel like such a damned fossil. My parents, both of whom never made it past the eighth grade, lived in a world (granted, a smaller and simpler one) where agendas weren't hidden, the truth was never spun, and people could trust in one another's sense of honor and responsibility.

It just makes me crazy when I'm intentionally misled.

In any case, I wish the very best for all the dedicated and talented authors who keep these publishing boats afloat. (Hell, yeah, including me!)

December/Stacia said...

When I say naive, when I talk about the involvement, I am talking specifically about Ellenberg representing EC's subrights. KZ, when I talk about Ellenberg getting "the best deal possible", I am specifically talking about subrights sales. I am not talking about this distribution thing. My point in first posting was when people couldn't understand why EC had an agent to begin with, and the discussion got sidetracked to being about subrights sales.

I don't understand why it's okay to rep EC's subrights to Pocket but not to approach other publishers, I admit. I don't see how it's a conflict of interest for EC's representative to represent EC; who says he's repping both parties in a contract? How is approaching small publishers somehow tantamount to agreeing to represent them? How is it different from repping their subrights? I'm really confused as to what the problem is here.

But then, I also don't understand why people expect EC to run itself like a co-op, only doing what is best for its authors and not for itself as a corporation. A company that focuses solely on the needs of its authors probably won't be a company for long; it's the same as people who are shocked that publishing contracts are written to favor the publisher (which is why we have agents to begin with.) This is business.

December/Stacia said...

Just returning to clarify: I'm not defending the distro idea, about which I really have no opinion--maybe it will be good, maybe not, I don't know. My comments have all been directed specifically at the idea that it's somehow wrong for EC to use an agent to sell subrights, or that it's a conflict of interest for an agent to do so.

Emily Veinglory said...

I think perhaps there is confusion between SOE of us questioning a potential conflict of interest and the idea an action should occur at all. Of course publisher's staff shop subrights -- as do writer's agents. But I continue to find the idea that a publisher can have an agent, or the assumption that the best deal Gor the publisher will be the best deal for each writer. One need only look at the stayed terms for ravenous to see that a writer would make more if they of their agents sold the rights than if ravenous of their agent- staff hybrid did.

When an agent acts on the role of a publisher's staff they are not acting as an agent. That does not mean the action is a bad idea but I would be alarmed if any writer thought the involvement of somebody else's agent meant their own interests were being served. To my eye the agent here is simly acting as a proxy for Ms Black in both subrights and this deal alike -- and on no way as an agent for any other author

Emily Veinglory said...

p.s. I am still traveling and on my iPhone--apologies for typos and the word substitutions this damn thing makes when I an not looking

December/Stacia said...

But I continue to find the idea that a publisher can have an agent, or the assumption that the best deal for the publisher will be the best deal for each writer. One need only look at the stated terms for Ravenous to see that a writer would make more if they or their agents sold the rights than if Ravenous or their agent- staff hybrid did.

Of course the writer would make more money if they sold the subrights themselves. I'm not saying it's better for the publisher or the publisher's agent to sell those rights as opposed to the writer's own agent, not at all, not one bit. What I am saying is that when you sign with a publisher, you agree or you do not agree to give them certain subrights to sell for you, and you agree or not about what percentage or whatever you will take from the sale they make (and having agreed to do so, it would be a breach of contract to attempt to bring your own agent in to work with theirs). If you don't want their agent selling your subrights, you refuse to give them those rights. Having given them the rights, though, in one thing at least you both agree; you both want as much money as possible for those rights.


I admit, as I admitted above, that it's possible the best deal for a publisher in selling those rights may not be the best for the author (although I don't know how, I'm not at all denying the possibility.)

Tawny Taylor said...

It seems I am in December's camp when it comes to subrights. When I signed my contracts with EC, I expected their agent would shop my subrights to publishers, which he has. I see that action as completely expected, particularly when I'm hearing of Kensington's agents brokering foreign translations for its authors as well. No surprises there.

Now, as far as the other issue--of EC selling ebooks by other publishers on its website, I'm a little confused and slightly concerned. Will EC be placing those books on its main www.ellorascave.com website or another one (perhaps www.jasmine-jade.com)? Will the action bring more traffic to EC's site (doubtful, but not because I question the quality of the books published by the other houses). Will sales for each individual weekly release be diluted by the addition of dozens of other ebooks on a weekly/monthly/whatever basis? My gut says yes, sales on individual titles will suffer. How could they not when readers will have (at their fingertips) dozens of choices every week, instead of the already hefty number they currently have?

Yet I also wonder if this is any different that what I *believe* Samhain is doing with www.mybookstoreandmore.com, where they may soon offer books by other publishers as well? I see a few paperbacks listed under "manufacturers".

Good for publishers. Not good for authors--unless they want to sell their words for pennies.

I am not panicking yet, but I'm watching this situation, watching and waiting. It does have me worried.

Emily Veinglory said...

several people seem to be rebutting a point that I don't think anyone ever made -- I don't recall anyone ever saying publisher's shouldn't sell subrights. Many do -- with the full blessing of their authors by way of signed contract.

Doing so is not, however, an action by a person acting as some kind of en masses agent.

Mary Caelsto said...

Tawny has an excellent point. I think if the two venturs were kept seperate, then there would be less concern. It would simply be an ADDITIONAL venue for Ellora's Cave to place their books, and possibly the books of other publishers. And, to be honest, if they were limiting it to the books BY THEIR AUTHORS published by other houses, then that would make a difference too. However, if the new releases, and granted, it's been a while since I had one with EC *wink*, go to the jasmine-jade site, as I believe, AND, that's the venue through which they'll sell other books, then someone could conceivably come to the JJ site looking for one book, get lost and buy others from other companies. Good for JJ/EC. Bad for the author whose book didn't get purchased. The same thing still happens, granted. But, there's a good chance if you stay strictly on the publisher's site, there's a better chance you'll actually purchase the book you wanted to buy. It's like when you go to the grocery store for bananas, and forget the bananas and buy cereal, milk, and eggs. Bad for the Dole company, good for Kellogs, Swiss Valley, and the egg people, and, of course, the grocery store. Dole loses.

Tawny Taylor said...

Absolutely, I would have no issues at all if JJ/EC wanted to open its own ebook "grocery store"--loved the analogy--and displayed EC's titles alongside other epubs' offerings. EC's version of Fictionwise...call it Romantica.com or whatever. That would be a definite win on my part as an author, even if my other epubs didn't wish to participate (which is likely they won't). It would be another venue where readers could find my books. I only have an issue when the ONLY place my EC releases are offered becomes a distribution channel for other epubs' products.

Victoria Strauss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victoria Strauss said...

I tried to comment earlier, but I think I hit the wrong button, and made my comment go away. So I'm trying again.

It's perfectly acceptable for an independent publisher to hire a literary agent to market subrights. Larger independents may be able to maintain their own rights departments, but smaller houses may not be able to afford this. A subrights agent is as much a sign of professionalism as an active rights department--and something authors should be glad to see, because it indicates that the publisher is serious about marketing and selling subrights.

It's also not uncommon for publishers to distribute books for other houses. One example is Simon & Schuster, which distributes titles for a number of smaller publishers. I really don't see any conflict of interest in EC's subrights agent approaching other publishers to set up distribution deals. He represents EC's interests; the other publishers, presumably, represent their own interests, and can say yes or no. There's no double dipping there.

I agree that the best subrights deal for a publisher isn't necessarily the best one for an author. For one thing, the publisher keeps 50% (or sometimes more) of the income, while if the rights are sold through an agent, the author only has to surrender a 15% commission (or 20-25% if they're foreign rights). However, publishers don't keep subrights to serve their authors' interests--they do it to serve their own interest. That's inherent in the arrangement. Of more concern is publishers that hold onto subrights they can't or won't market. That's unfortunately very common--and it's another reason why authors should be glad to see that a smaller publisher has a subrights agent.

Authors who don't want their publisher marketing their subrights can negotiate to try to keep as many subrights as possible, and sell the rights themselves--though unless they are agented, that's pretty tough to do.

K. Z. Snow said...

someone could conceivably come to the JJ site looking for one book, get lost and buy others from other companies. Good for JJ/EC. Bad for the author whose book didn't get purchased.

I think that pretty much sums up the general concern, Mary. There are already hundreds of EC authors essentially competing with each other. If the company chooses to "intermingle" books from other pubs with EC titles -- and, as I understand it, that's their plan -- EC authors are gonna be getting some what-what in the butt-butt . . . but good!

December/Stacia said...

several people seem to be rebutting a point that I don't think anyone ever made -- I don't recall anyone ever saying publisher's shouldn't sell subrights.

No, it was the idea that it is wrong or unethical for an agent to sell subrights for a publisher that is being rebutted; the idea put forth by the following comments:

And, am I the only one who thinks it's bizarre and inappropriate that Engler's literary agent is handling the deal?...

That's been my biggest "Huh?" in all this. I'm also nodding my head at Kirsten's comment. At least two agents we know of now (being Ethan Ellenberg and Lori Perkins) wearing multiple hats and dipping their toes in the e-pub waters. I'm not decided on whether that's right or wrong, but I certainly find it a curious development...

...and yet, they've got an agent on board (why?) ...

...It may just be me but my understanding of what an agent is makes it hard to see how a publisher as an entity would have an agent, c.f. a lawyer...

...I understand what you're staying, Stacia, and that's what I gathered too, but IMO, literary agents should not represent publishers. To me it's a conflict of interest, along the lines of Lori Perkins' involvement with Ravenous Romance.

Like Em, it just goes against what my view of a literary agent's function is...

...I feel we need to distinguish, these days, between whether a person is an agent, and whether the activity they are part of is within that kind of relationship...

...Representing EC as a publisher to, say, Pocket for their anthos is one thing. Approaching small epublishers on behalf of EC in an attempt to set up a distribution is entirely another...

...To my eye the agent here is simly acting as a proxy for Ms Black in both subrights and this deal alike -- and on no way as an agent for any other author...


The dispute certainly seemed to be the implication that A)It was/is unethical for Jaid Black's agent to also have EC as a client, despite the fact that the only conflict there would be if he negotiated her deals with EC; B)it was/is unethical for an agent to represent a publisher at all; and C)that it was/is unethical for an agent to approach smaller publishers for the purposes of investigating what interest if any they might have in distributing their books through EC.

It's been quite clearly stated here numerous times that various commenters find the idea of a publisher having an agent at all to be unethical and a conflict of interest. That's what I've been discussing the entire time.

Katrina Strauss said...

Allow me to requote, erm, this quote? LOL

I'm not decided on whether that's right or wrong, but I certainly find it a curious development...

As I said, not saying if it's right or wrong. I find it an interesting development is all. Both authors and publishers have been compelled to think outside of the box as the publishing industry has undergone drastic changes in recent years. It's inevitable that the role of the agent will be redefined as well. It's something to watch as just one element of what is playing out to be an interesting venture overall.

December/Stacia said...

Sorry, Katrina, I didn't mean to misquote you, just to show that the agent's involvement was much discussed. :-)

Katrina Strauss said...

Sorry, Katrina, I didn't mean to misquote you, just to show that the agent's involvement was much discussed. :-)

That it is! LOL At least we are staying somewhat more on-topic than the thread over at DA.