Mike Shatzkin details the traditional Agent/Publisher symbiotic relationship:
Agents work for authors and sell books (mostly) to big general trade publishers, but there’s really a partnership at work there. Nearly all the books big publishers buy, and almost without exception those for which big money is paid, come to them from agents. There’s a symbiotic dependency between them.
He then deconstructs it and builds a new picture of how this relationship is changing.
But times have changed. A quick check of recent news and announcements in our office turned up nine agencies with announced digital propositions.
Some of the offerings from agencies (ostensibly to their 'existing authors') are very impressive. Mike speculates about how viable they are, and how (if they are successful) they will start to push boundaries that might step on the publishing houses' toes.
Have I mentioned before that we're in interesting times?