An agent and her reputation

HP was still up playing on that game. I was hoping he’d come to bed and I’d try my sexy on again. So, I waited and waited, and finally got a bit fed up, tip-toed into the lounge to find him asleep on the sofa, the game still on, and the controller in hand.

I’ve left him in there to sleep.

So, since I’m wide awake I’ll fill everyone on my Monday meetings.

I met with London and Paris and we had such a great chat. They’re doing well, and their business is getting off the ground. And, oh, and they are suing Giles. They asked me to keep it all confidential, and while I’m usually a spill-all kind of blogger, in this instance I should probably keep it zipped. I don’t want to jeopardise their suit. Also they begged me to come work for them. Okay, they didn’t beg. But they did say that if I ever changed my mind, I had a job at their place.

Honestly, right now, I’d mad dash defect if I could afford it. But I can’t risk losing the money from the sale. Giles has said, in no uncertain terms, that if I leave now, I have to pay him back the money from the sale. London and Paris said that he’s bluffing, he has no legal ground to stand on, and I should defect. But, well, I can’t risk being bound up in a legal battle. Mum’s house needs my financial stability at the moment.

So, once all the business gossip was put aside we got to talking about properly interesting topics, one of which is foreign language rights. That’s always been Paris’ forte and there’s been some interesting shakings going on in French language rights. In fact, there was an article written in the Guardian about it last May, and a lot of people are now trying to open up the French language market outside of Paris. Check out the Guardian article French Language Books.

As for my meetings with the publishers and clients, rather than go through the whole schedule and all that bit, I’ll let you in on the biggest problem I’m having with New Agency…being an agent is all about reputation, and we lost our reputation when Loraine*, Paris and London left.

Publishers are interested in good writers. So, they’ll still buy strong solid work, no matter who their agent is. BUT. If they don’t trust the agent, they may not take the work as seriously, and therefore they may push it to the bottom of the pile. Or, when the agent goes to negotiate, if they don’t think the agent is bringing them work that will reap large profits, they will never agree to a big advance.

It’s all about creating a reputation for representing solid work with strong authors who will bring a lifetime of profits to the publisher. If you haven’t built that reputation, it’s hard to get them to trust that your authors will bring in revenue. I learned this weekend that I had been trading off Loraine’s longtime reputation. With her gone, the New Agency doesn’t have the necessary reputation. I’ve got a lot of work to do build that reputation on my own. It’s all a bit deflating, which is why I probably didn’t blog about it straight away. And I was being obsessive about my boring lazy gaming boyfriend in the other room.

As for the clients, they’re staying with us…for now. But if I can’t deliver substantial advances, publicity budgets and other benefits, or even the attention that they received under Loraine’s watch, they won’t stay.

All in all. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

*I just realized recently that I’ve been spelling Loraine differently than I used to. That’s the problem with using fake names to keep people’s identity a secret. I can’t remember what I call people.

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