Archive for the ‘literary agent’ Category

Royalty and title management software for literary agencies

Sun, 6 Apr 2014

Software systems designed to track the licensing of literary copyrights and payment of royalties are a relatively recent phenomenon, although they first appeared before cloud computing was widely adopted. As with any software that has very specialized applications and a narrow potential market, the buyer or subscriber must be concerned about how quickly the product might become obsolete, as well as its cost and ease of use.

Rich Shivener explained the purpose and requirements of royalty and rights management software in a 2012 article for Publishers Weekly.

software solutionThe current market for royalty and title management software isn’t really large enough to make it worthwhile for a vendor to invest in the development of an inexpensive software product or service designed specifically for literary agents. However, if a software company wanted to design cloud-based rights and royalty management software to which self-published authors could afford to subscribe, then the customer base might be enlarged sufficiently to sustain its production. Just a thought.

Following is a list of royalty and title management software vendors. Not all of them offer software designed specifically for literary agencies, and some might not even be adaptable. Most are built for publishers. Some of these companies will have exhibits at the London Book Fair this week.

Literary rights & royalty management software


Backbeat Solutions


Bradbury Phillips International


Dependable Solutions
El Segundo, CA, USA

Barcelona | London

Haywards Heath, SXW, UK | Schiphol-Rijk, Netherlands | Woodcliff Lake, NJ, USA

New York

Beirut | Burlington, MA, USA | New York

FilmTrack’s Jaguar Consulting’s System 7
Pasadena and Studio City, CA, USA

IBS Bookmaster
Solna, Sweden | Breda, Netherlands

IPRO Business Systems

Kensai International’s Easy Royalties
Malverne, NY, USA

Amsterdam | Berlin | Munich | No. London | Paris | Parsippany, NJ, USA

Kiel, SH, Germany

Media Services Group
Houston | London | Los Angeles | Phoenix | Seattle | Stamford, CT, USA

MetaComet Systems
South Hadley, MA, USA

Boston | Cape Town | Fleet, HPH, UK | London | St. Peter Port, Channel Islands | Wrocław, Poland

Oracle Media and Entertainment

Publishers’ Assistant
Jericho, VT, USA

Publishing Technology
Oxford, OX, UK

REAL Software Systems
Boston | London | Los Angeles

Rights Management Systems
West Byfleet, SRY, UK

London | New York | San Diego

Austin, TX, USA

RSG Media
Gurgaon, HR, India | New York

SAP for Media


Simplified Systems
Riverside, CA, USA


That’s Rights! Agents

Trilogy North America
Raleigh, NC, USA

United ERP
Fort Lee, NJ, USA

Virtusales’ BiblioRoyalties
Brighton & Hove, BN, UK | New York

I’ll try to keep this list updated as new products and services appear. Let me know if you’re aware of a company I’ve overlooked or if I’ve included one that’s completely unsuitable for literary agencies.

Writers and reinvention

Wed, 1 Jan 2014

I’ve been thinking about the qualities I should be looking for in prospective clients, because tomorrow I’ll resume taking queries from writers. You would think I’d have the selection criteria down pat by now. When I started my agency five years ago, the publishing industry was changing dramatically and I wasn’t the only person who had a lot to learn. From the start, I’ve looked for clients who are able to adapt to rapid technological innovations, but new technology is only part of what writers are contending with as they continually reinvent themselves.

Expanding the scope of what I mean by adaptability, and perhaps reframing it as resourcefulness, would more accurately describe what I need to see in prospective clients. A strong drive to achieve goals is essential, too, but persistence on its own—without talent, work ethic, intelligence, and social skills—comes across as mania.

On my agency’s website is a page titled Resources for writers that might be one of the best kept secrets on the internet. I like to hear from writers who know that an agent is just one of a variety of assistants and strategies—in other words, writers who already have shown the self-initiative to use as many available resources as they can.

This list tops my Resources for writers page:

On my site are more resources useful to writers, including writers who don’t need, don’t want, can’t get, or already have agents.

Reinvention is a survival mechanism. Writers who have learned to be resourceful and professional make wiser decisions about their careers, and they’re better able, when they choose, to collaborate with literary agents, editors, publishers, and publicists.

Literary agencies located in Australia

Fri, 29 Nov 2013

Review of Reviews
Why not share a list if I have it, right?

I’ve been told, as of 2013, there are very few literary agents serving writers in Australia. Following are the agencies I’ve noticed in both Australia and New Zealand, although I haven’t met any of the agents.

Please feel free to advise me if you learn of any others or if you’d like to have your agency’s website added to this list.


Alex Adsett Publishing Services – Brisbane, Queensland

Australian Literary Management – Balmain, Sydney, New South Wales

The Authors’ Agent – Terrigal, New South Wales

Calidris Literary Agency – Castlemaine, Victoria

Cameron’s – Surry Hills, Sydney, New South Wales

Curtis Brown Australia – Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales

Drummond Publishing Services – Woodend, Victoria

Frances Plumpton Literary Agency – New Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand

Gilbert Literary Agency – Dunedin, New Zealand

Golvan Arts Management – Kew, Melbourne, Victoria

HLA Management – Redfern, Sydney, New South Wales

Harry M. Miller Group (HMMG) – Fox Studios Australia, Moore Park, Sydney, New South Wales

Jacinta di Mase Management – North Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria

Jenny Darling & Associates – Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria

Margaret Gee – Sydney, New South Wales

Margaret Kennedy Agency – Brisbane, Queensland

The Naher Agency – Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales

Rick Raftos Management – Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales

Zeitgeist Media Group – Summer Hill, Sydney, New South Wales


For related information, see the Australian Literary Agents’ Association Code of Practice.

Image courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales via Wikipedia

Remaining viable as a literary agent

Wed, 2 Oct 2013

As it turns out, accepting queries from prospective clients for only one or two months during the year allowed me to respond to writers more quickly and provide feedback and, I hope, encouragement. What it didn’t do is benefit my business. Not one bit.

I’ve mentioned to friends in publishing that I’m seeing far fewer good, viable manuscripts, which might be due to two factors: the increasing number of literary agents, at least in the U.S., and the trend toward self-publishing.

query lettersIn 2014, I’ll take queries continuously for the entire year. I’ll need to be considerably more selective about which manuscripts I offer to read, though, so I don’t end up with an unmanageable reading queue. Furthermore, I won’t be able to think of working with writers who aren’t already adept at self-promotion. It won’t be easy to reject prospective clients on that basis, because I’m empathetic. And I’m enamored of the underdog. And I’m an introvert myself, so my heart goes out to others who are introspective. Nevertheless, I must select the manuscripts and authors who have the potential to succeed at reaching readers. Any writer who hasn’t accepted the professional responsibility of connecting with an audience isn’t likely to be a good investment for me or for a publisher.

I adore my job and my clients. There’s never a moment when I’m not thinking of them and how to improve their odds. The biggest perk of being a literary agent is that I’m never bored. Book people are fascinating. They’re inquisitive. They like to argue. They have strong opinions. They make use of their intellects. (Well, they fantasize, at least.) I wouldn’t trade them for any other colleagues. Astronauts, actors, academics, actuaries, pearl divers—sorry, but people in the book business are having a lot more fun.

Are you good enough to be published?

Sun, 8 Sep 2013

When you finish writing your first book-length work of fiction or nonfiction, you’re most urgently concerned about exposing it to readers. Yet you might be jumping the gun. Don’t forget that you’ll also be exposing yourself.

Are you good at networking?

Many writers still require basic training in the use of social media. A smaller percentage already have demonstrated their expertise, in ways that are discoverable 24/7. Literary agents, acquiring editors, book buyers, producers, and fans want easy access to information about authors and their books in order to make investment decisions.

Although creative writing is a vocation well suited to introverts, the publication of creative work involves a variety of interactions with other people, sometimes in person, requiring poise and self-confidence that not everyone possesses.

Are you good at research?

Do you know how to find answers and explanations so that you don’t require a lot of coaching? For example, if your editor or critique partner suggests that you eliminate “excessive exposition in dialogue,” will you know what that means? Have you attended a writing workshop? Can you go to a library or bookstore and locate a textbook that will teach you the creative writing techniques and grammar rules you need to know?

Can you identify reliable resources on the web?

If you’re asked to obtain additional quotes from experts for your nonfiction project, will you have the ability to locate, evaluate, and contact those experts?

Are you good at self-promotion and marketing?

A polished, engaging web presence is the hub of your professional identity as a writer. Is yours already in place? Can you update and maintain it, or have you hired someone who will?

Have you published short works in magazines or online? Do enough potential book buyers know your name, because they’ve read your writing, met you, or heard of you through others? Do you know who these people are and how to communicate with them?

Do you understand how generosity and genuine interest in others are forms of self-promotion?

Literary agencies located in India

Mon, 12 Aug 2013

1947 India flag
When I started my agency almost five years ago, there were very few literary agencies in India. Times have changed. People suddenly took notice of the fact that South Asia is an enormous market with a growing demand for books.

If an author’s primary publisher will be in his or her country of residence, then there can be advantages to being represented by an agent located in the same country. I’ve compiled the following list of literary agencies in India so I can link to it whenever the question arises. I’ll try to remember to add to this list whenever I learn of a new agency.

Aitken Alexander Associates – Shruti Debi


Jacaranda (now located in Singapore, but its advisory board member remains in India) – Jayapriya Vasudevan, Helen Mangham, and Andrea Pasion-Flores

Purple Folio – Urmila Dasgupta

Red Ink – Anuj Bahri, Sharvani Pandit, and Sanya Sagar

Sherna Khambatta Literary Agency – Sherna Khambatta

Siyahi – Mita Kapur

Writer’s Side – Kanishka Gupta and Rahul Soni

In India, it’s still very common for authors to submit their manuscripts directly to publishers without the involvement of literary agents.

Image courtesy of India Post via Wikimedia Commons

Penny Sansevieri: “Why having a platform may be the only way to sell books”

Thu, 1 Aug 2013

Penny Sansevieri
Yesterday, I linked you to a blogpost written by a publisher who explained what he’d learned about selling the books he’s been publishing for 35 years.

Today, with book authors in mind, I’d like to recommend a Huffington Post article written by publicist Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts, who says that “in order to gain any kind of attention for your book, you’re going to have to have a platform.” I agree. Take a look at Sansevieri’s description of the basic components of an author platform and trust her when she says, “Without it, yours may be the best book that no one has ever read.”

Christina KatzMy friend Christina Katz, author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, has been a trailblazer on the topic of author platforms. I’m glad I met her before I started my agency, so I could learn what to expect of my clients and how to prepare them for their books’ publication.

A few months after I established my business, a young editor at HarperCollins told me he would not look at the work of a writer who hadn’t already established an online presence. In the years since, other acquiring editors have followed suit. They’ve found the author platform requirement a quick and dirty, not to mention objective and reasonable, means of eliminating quite a few manuscripts from consideration.

These days, I can’t consider taking on a new client who hasn’t demonstrated a capability for self-promotion, online and IRL. I still use the terms online and IRL for clarity, but I no longer perceive a distinction. To me, they’re one and the same.

I once thought I’d be able to teach every new client the platform development techniques I’ve learned from Christina Katz, Penny Sansevieri, and other book marketing experts. Instead, I found that it’s impractical to try to instill the motivation to make time, the competitive drive, the emotional stamina, and the willingness to learn, all of which are required of a writer who needs to build a readership. When I’m considering whether to work with a writer, I need proof of those characteristics.

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