Friday, May 07, 2010

Agents just wanna be publishers? [Diversion Books]

First we had Lori Perkins blurring the lines by referring authors she or others at her agency represented to an epublisher she co-owned. Now the Waxman Literary Agency is apparently starting their own epublisher (Diversion Books) which is releasing books written by their clients. Diversion Books opened quietly this March and is unrelated to the existing Diversion Press.

The similarity to the Ravenous Romance affair extends to the arrogance of the founders, in this case Scott Waxman: "I think because it emanates from my literary agency it gives us a unique perspective on what the authors need and want. Because we understand editorial development, rights, various genres and the everyday life of an author I believe it will provide a comfort level for writers."

That is, other epublishers presumably do not understand 'editorial development, rights, various genres and the everyday life of an author'. Puh-leeze. If blithe acceptance of an obvious conflict of interest is meant to be part of the brave new world of epublishing I want nothing to do with it.

Waxman is a very respected literary agency, but how long is that going to last? They wouldn't be the first to squander a big share of their reputation on an ill conceived money making project (Kirkus Discoveries, anyone? Harlequin Horizons?)

Linkin reports that Waxman also founded the short-lived epublisher "Live READS".

News via Romance Divas

See also:
On self-dealing <--recommended reading
It's Just Upsetting

4 comments:

Emily Veinglory: said...

Please consider voting on the weekly poll to the left....

M.R.J. Le Blanc said...

I don't get why respected agencies tread on such dangerous waters. First the referral debacle at OE, then Ravenous Romance, and now this. Why isn't being an agent enough? That's the question on my mind. If you want to be a publisher, go be a publisher. His whole attitude reads too much like those inexperienced publishers we all know and avoid.

Anonymous said...

top agents like Waxman and Perkins are successful because they are business-savvy. They go where the money is. In both cases, they've gotten into publishing because they see untapped markets for their clients' work, and see the moneymaking potential. Doing what they're doing may ruffle some feathers, but these agents are not dumb and didn't get where they are by not being forward-looking.

fiona glass said...

If I was lucky enough to get an agent I'd want them to be finding me the best possible deals 'out there' in the big wide publishing world.

If they have conflicting interests and are likely to put their own small start-up ahead of mainstream publishers when 'pushing' my work, that wouldn't really be what I'm paying them a % of my royalties for...

Just my 2c worth.