Monday, October 20, 2008

Literary Agent Web Death

Here's a thought (not a very well-written one), but a thought just the same: "The web has been a great influence of 'disintermediation' in business, by eliminating intermediaries such as booksellers, travel agents and music stores. So, why not literary agents? Unlike the printed book itself, no one would miss them – and without them we might just find that we get to read more of what we want to, rather than what we're told to. "


Renee Thompson said...

Despite Ben Flanagan's argument, I don't think the web will kill the literary agent anytime soon; most people simply aren't going to sit in front of a computer screen to read an entire book. (We've seen this with every e-reader that's hit the market to date.)

And his suggestion that agents could someday become defunct because we're all submitting our books to reader-voting sites is kinda out there. Doesn't it stand to reason that if we all dumped our agents, or simply didn't pursue them, then all 16 million of us (or whatever that BEA figure was -- something like 16 million mss. circulating the U.S. at any given time) would then be posting our work online, hoping readers will vote our book "best"? Maybe Ben wants to scan 16 million manuscripts looking for that gem, but I sure as heck don't. Just thinking about it makes me want to fling myself onto I-80.

The Rejection Queen said...

That's a gross picture

Anonymous said...

You should spend some time working at a literary agent. You'd be very surprised by how incredibly essential we've become to the authors. It's not like all we do is make a phone call, sell a book and then collect the cash. That would be an incredibly ignorant implication-- and just plain wrong. I know it's frustrating to realize that you might be at the mercy of someone else's judgement, but (as evidenced by the loads of shit to wade through on the internet) there's a reason.