Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A New Role for Agents?

The Bookseller reports today on the role of the agent. In a serious twist today they report that the agency PFD is entering a print on demand relationship with Lightning Source which will enable it to bring back out of print works from its authors and estates and makes these available through Amazon and the two wholesaler channels of Gardners and Bertrams.
This clearly throws the gauntlet down on rights reversals and opens up all sorts of potential opportunities for both authors and agents.

By bringing these works back they effectively block publishers wakening up and doing it themselves and also are one step away from securing the full digital control of these works. It is unknown what the deal is with the authors and their estates but it is obviously better than no sales and is with little if no risk. By selecting the free to play channels they also are well place to pick up ‘long tail’ sales.

Interestingly we were only thinking what the role of the Agent may be in the new World. They could hardly remain as they are today and yet unless they step back into the publishing model it is hard to see how many will not be marginalised in the future.