Will the Threat of Disintermediation Push Agents to Advocate Traditional Publishing?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

stack of six books

With disintermediation looming, agents may find themselves advocating traditional publishing if only to maintain a role in the publishing paradigm.

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s editorial by agent Jason Allen Ashlock considers the implications of agents turning themselves into publishers. He notes:

The plethora of impressive non-traditional publishing and marketing tools now available lead authors with backlist titles and fresh content to grow as dissatisfied with traditional agency methods as they are with traditional publisher methods. The approaching threat: along with publishers, agents face disintermediation.

Signing an agent has traditionally been viewed as the first step on a road toward a publishing career with traditional publishers. What’s more, agents were always seen as the advocates of authors — but with disintermediation for agents looming in the same way as it is for traditional publishers, will agents then be forced into the paradoxical position of becoming de-facto advocates on behalf of traditional publishers themselves, even if the terms might not be as advantageous, if only to maintain a role in the publishing paradigm?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.