Will Publishers Blackball Agent-Publishers?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Some agents are now offering to publish their client’s work themselves. Will there be repercussions from publishers?

By Edward Nawotka

two books

In today’s feature story UK literary agent Ed Victor explains why he launched a new venture to republish his clients’ backlist classics. As we all know numerous literary agents are moving into publishing their own clients books in one form or another. Some, such as Victor, argue that what they do does not represent direct competition for publishers. Others state that publishing a client’s work is merely one more way of servicing their authors.

Whatever the motivation, there is the implication that agents are in a position now to offer a similar service to their clients as do publishers. The publishing ecosystem is so interdependent, that it’s unlikely publisher can do much dissuade agents from publishing clients, or even go so far as to blackball them. There’s no reason they would even try. After all, what agent is going to deny their author a potential payday from a publisher if they think there might be one in the offing?

Then again, wouldn’t it go without saying that any client of an agent would be one they should be willing to publish themselves — after all, how else could they submit the work to publishers in good faith?

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.