Loraine was so angry today I was actually scared. Luckily she wasn’t mad at me, but she was scary all the same.
The Agency handles a pretty big named author. He’s represented by one of the other agents, but Loraine has done with this author as well, so she feels kind of vested in him. Plus, he’s brought in a good amount of revenue to the Agency. Well, he had a three book deal with a publisher, and was up to renew after the third. The publishers were offering him a nice advance, and they’ve been fairly generous with publicising him. This author, he turned it all down. He’s decided to self-publish.
Loraine was livid. This author has jumped on the ‘Why should I only receive 10% on my own ideas?’ bandwagon, and decided to self-publish – predominately ebooks. Loraine’s not just angry because she’s losing a client, but she feels like the Agency and the publisher made him the author he is. He came to the Agency with a rough novel, they worked to get it in shape, sold it to a publisher (who would have NEVER picked it up in its original form), and the publisher also polished it up. They supported him through a book tour, and put a lot of energy into promoting the first book. They gave him better advances for the second and third book, and the Agency helped promote it and get him into Festivals. And now that he’s successful and will sell on his own, he’s dropping the people that supported him. He probably will sell less, but keeping 70% of the profits, he’ll come out slightly better. Also, Loraine said that she’s not sure he can even self-publish, because ‘He has no idea what it takes to make a novel. Layout. Design. Editing.’ She’s not sure if he’ll be able to produce a quality product.
Loraine spent the morning trying to talk some sense into him – to no avail. She left to go down to London this afternoon. She’s shopping a few other authors around to London publishers tomorrow, and she’s going to try and meet with this author. I really hope it gets sorted.
Oh, and by the way, I was going to read Fife’s novel yesterday, because I’m meeting him for a coffee-lunch tomorrow to talk about it, but I got side tracked reading the rest of Conspiracy’s blog. I love, love, love his blog, and I want to turn it into a book. I just can’t decide if I talk to Conspiracy first, or if I mention it to the Manchester agent who’s interested in that sort of thing. I don’t want to ask Manchester, if Conspiracy doesn’t go for it. And I don’t want to ask Conspiracy if Manchester doesn’t go about it. Plus, I’m not even supposed to know about the blog. I have a lot of thinking to do, and I must get cracking on Fife’s manuscript because I’ve got 300 pages to read by tomorrow. I think I’ll be up late tonight.