This is just a brief post. The monster second part will be up soon.
I stated this in the comments to my post last night, but I think this issue is worthy of being elevated to the front page.
Yesterday’s post violated my own rule about categorical statements. It was written because I was angry about a development that I saw, and specifically, was angry about what several individual agents had said and done on occasion. I do not believe agents should develop publishing houses. And I particularly abhor when they do so and make a bad job of it.
But it is wrong to judge from the specific to the general. I had specific examples of specific agents in mind when I spoke, but I didn’t want to call them out–in some cases because the information I know was given to me confidentially. But I didn’t speak about specifics, and I didn’t say “some” agents. I said all agents except my own.
So let me be clear: I’m very worried about the tack that some agents are taking. It’s very clear to me that some agents who have chosen to publish their clients (sometimes at a 50/50 split of profits, a clear conflict of interest) are doing a piss-poor job of it.
But I also know that many, many agents are deeply dedicated to their clients. These are often the people who have not yet announced what they’re doing at this point–because they’re taking the time to do it right. There are a lot of really good agents out there who do advocate for their clients, and I should not have implied that they were clueless. It was wrong of me, and given my past statements, it was hypocritical.
My apologies for painting with too broad a brush stroke, and especially to the agents who are taking their time to be careful, cautious, and ethical, while making sure that their clients receive the best possible care. Authors need agents like you.