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The 21st Century Literary Agent

book-apromisetoourselves.jpgWhat is the agent’s role in the digital book future? Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Karen Gantz, a literary agent who has represented to an impressive list of authors including Alec Baldwin and Kathleen Turner.

She explained how she founded Karen Gantz Literary Management, and was joined by her partner, Dr. Joyce Starr–talking about the agency’s author coaching services.

Gantz didn’t sugarcoat the industry while talking about the current market.

“We feel there is an even higher standard in obtaining a book deal today,” she explained. “Every week I meet with an editor on the phone or in person. There is a much higher standard because there is so much content on the web for free–publishers have to find something that’s really fresh, dynamic, and new to take a chance on an author…In Virginia Woolf‘s day, you just sent in your manuscript and it was published, no questions asked.”

She also thought agents were more important during the digital age, explaining one part of her bargaining strategy: “Many of these [contract] issues are in flux they are evolving. One of the ways to deal with it to put a provision in the contract that when these rights percentages change and the standard in the industry improves, the author will benefit from that change,” she concluded.

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