But, I want to respond to something that Kristine says about agents.
"What’s worse is that the people we once thought were our advocates - our agents and our editors—can’t help us any more. ... Agents - who are savvy about business - have realized that they can no longer make money in traditional ways, so many of them are looking for other ways to make money. And often, those ways hurt the writer. See what agent Peter Cox says about this, about the way he’s fighting to keep some semblance of decency in his profession. "Although it's true that there are some potential conflicts and true that rules need to be set (which is why the Association of Authors Agents is looking at it so carefully), I want to scotch the idea that this is what agents in general would do. Agents are too often portrayed as sharks and though they may sometimes be so it's not a fair generalisation.
But forget any generalisations for the moment. I want to get specific and talk about my agent.
My agent has been my rock. She has fought for me and stayed with me despite the fact that most of my income does not currently go through her - she doesn't take a percentage of my speaking/consulting income; and she only acts for my children's titles; I've not written a new children's book recently; and my royalties are pathetic. (And yes, Kristine is right that publishers blame authors for poor sales, quite unfairly in most cases, or at least they drop us when it happens, often without apology or any obvious feeling of regret or understanding. Most of you will know someone who has suffered like that.)
My agent has kept me strong in the face of adversity that almost stopped me writing altogether. She has never stopped believing in me or working for me. She has never told me to write any particular thing or not to write any particular thing. She could have done, if money was her object. She never pushed or hassled or nagged. She was just there, calm for me, to keep me calm when I couldn't write fiction.
And my agent is not going to publish my backlist as ebooks and give me a cut - no: I'm going to publish them and give her a cut! Hooray! I owe it to her and it's the least I can do. After all, without her, those books would never have been published in the first place. She hasn't earned as much from me as she should have done, especially in the last year or two, and I really hope I can put that right.
So, this is just a shout-out for my great agent. Good agents are not sharks - they work for us and usually they work damned hard. I owe mine everything. I owe her the very fact that I'm a published author. And I intend to be able to give something back.
Thank you, Elizabeth Roy.