Okay, here I go again. Attacking agents. But before you read any farther here, go read the post by Matt Buchman on his four book deal and his agent saga, or better put, lack of an agent saga. He ended up using an IP lawyer because no agent would deal with him even though he had a FOUR book offer from a major New York publisher in his hand.
His story is here: http://www.matthewlieberbuchman.com/?p=12
So my questions is this: Have agents lost their minds? One agent wanted to hold all rights forever, even after the original contract was finished. Nope. Matt smartly laughed and walked away. And if you want to see how ugly that can be, reread some of Laura Resnick’s great comments after the agent posts in Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing (tab at the top of this page).
And the other three attempts Matt made with agents went nowhere, to the point where the editor was worried about so much time going by and Matt smartly went with an IP lawyer and did most of it himself.
I have always given the advice that the best way to get a top agent is get a major publisher to offer you a deal, then call the agent you want to work with to help with the contract. It’s free money to the agent. It seems that now I will no longer ever give that advice again.
My advice now: Go sell your own books, as Matt did with his four book deal, then call an IP Lawyer as Laura Resnick suggested. (Names on her site and on NINC site.)
Agents have lost it. Matt offered four agents a four book offer in his hand. Free money. Three didn’t bother and one wanted to control his books forever.
Free money. Matt was offering agents free money to simply negotiate a contract! 15% of the books and all the side stuff that will go along with the books and all their earning power under that contract.
Free money. And he couldn’t find an agent to take his money.
So I stand by my question: HAVE AGENTS LOST THEIR MINDS?