Interesting story by Hugh Howey, author of WOOL:
When Kristin Nelson first contacted me about representing WOOL, I warned her that I didn't think I'd ever sell the rights to a publisher. My series of stories were doing well enough for me to quit my day job, and I didn't think it would be advantageous to alter course. Other agents had been in touch already, and I'd passed up their offerings of representation by explaining that a deal was unlikely, but Kristin got my attention by saying, "I'm not sure you should sell the rights." She went on to explain that it might not be in my best interest to change what I was doing, but wouldn't it be fun to feel publishers out? To see what they were willing to do?
So began our journey together. In all the ways Kristin warned, it was unfruitful. The first round of submissions included bizarre plans to change the title of a work that had already established itself as a brand and the plan to take the book down from Amazon and wait another six months or so to put it up for sale again. Granted, it is a silly title for a book. I will give them that. But we declined six-figure advances that I would have leapt at just a few months prior.
It's a long but fascinating adventure through his publishing journey, and an interesting look at how the industry is trying to adapt to successful authors who've never felt the need for the traditional publishing route.