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Ninc Newsletter

November 2012   •  Vol. 23, No. 11   •  Download pdf version

Ninc 2012 Conference

 

NINCThink Roundtable:
Role of the Agent in a Changing
Marketplace

BY LORI DEVOTI

Industry Guests: Robert Gottlieb (Trident Media Group), Nita Taublib (G P Putman’s Sons), Donald Maass (Donald Maass Literary Agency), Jennifer Brehl (William Morrow), Jim McCarthy (Dystel & Goderich Literary Management), Paige Wheeler (Folio Literary Management)

NINC Authors: Jenny Brown, Vella Munn, Shirley Hailstock, Brenda Hiatt

Moderator: Karen King

If you have heard any chatter about the NINCThink Roundtables, it was probably about this roundtable. Things here were lively and at times heated, to put it politely. While I think the rumors about this roundtable have taken things a bit past reality, many an audience member’s mouth was hanging open on more than one occasion at things said and the passion with which those things were expressed.

The roundtable started out innocently enough with the question of what authors are misunderstanding regarding the e-book revolution.

Many of the industry guests shared that they see agents as a value added and think authors don’t understand the partnering; that writers would rather be writing and don’t want to be publishers or know how to explore other rights; that writers see agents as having the business experience, contacts, and understanding of the changing market that authors need; that agents are able to help authors realize which projects they should be pursuing and provide them the ability to sell into formats other than digital that will give those authors the ability to succeed in a changing market.

Another industry guest, however, disagreed with the term “revolution,” stating that there is a feeling among authors that they are a new nation being born. He said these writers see a democracy of authors in

Table of Contents

NINC 2012 Profitable Partnerships:
      Discoverability Toolkit
      Optimizing Your Website for Better Search Engine
        Rankings
      Creatively Connecting with Readers
      Partnering to Raise Your Profile
      Nurturing the Creative Spirit
Not Your Usual Writing Advice: Creative Spaces
Writing Is Taxing: It Can Happen to You
The Mad Scribbler: My Epic Quest

which the cream will rise against the evil empire— indie vs. traditional—but e-books are just another way to deliver books to consumers. In his opinion, if you really want to grow an audience, you need everything: e-book and print, hardcover and paper, audio. E-books work together with print books, he said, and print books in stores are the best advertising for your e-books. He did not see e-books as a revolution, but as an add-on.

Another industry guest disagreed with both of these positions. He said that                Continued on page 3

 

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