I had planned a different post today, but this was too important not to share. For those looking for an agent, or those who've recently been offered representation, PLEASE read that contract thoroughly.
Theresa from Editorrent has two posts about a rumor (subsequently confirmed) that at least two agencies are inserting into their contracts a clause that takes a standard commission on an author's SELF-PUBLISHED books.
I could barely believe it so I had to read it twice.
The theory Theresa proposes (and I agree with) is that since the agent is building the author's career, he is entitled to a cut of the author's other revenue streams from books.
These agents are counting on the desperate, or the person who doesn't read their contract carefully to sign on the dotted line. Either way, it's bad news. It also calls attention to the fact that agents are also desperate. Revenue from traditional publishing is drying up for them and they're frantic to hang on to their careers no matter what that takes.
Please, please, please. I know some of you would give your eye teeth for a chance at representation, but be careful what you wish for. This is such a crock I can't believe any agent would have the temerity to include it in their contracts.
Please chime in. What do you think it means for the industry when agents start to expect compensation for work they didn't sell, or agents who start their own self-publishing companies? Are we looking at the beginning of the end or something more complex?