Monday, October 03, 2011

Perseus offers new service for self-publishing of e-books; questions rise about conflict of interest for literary agents, even about 'amateurism"

Julie Bosman reports in the New York Times today on a “New service for authors seeking to self-publish e-books”, link here.  

The new service will come from the Perseus Books Group, which will structure a service that offers 70% royalty to authors.  It will be called Argo Navis Author Services. This seems to refer to Kindle-like books and not to print-on-demand. The Perseus site, however, mentions its doing POD.

Another account of the new service is at PaidContent, here where there is mention of possible conflict of interest for literary agents (or maybe eventually “third parties” that agent screenplays).

This last story links to another story at the same site, “The Rise of Agent-Publishers Is Bad for the Book Business”.   There can be a serious conflict of interest if one is an agent and a publisher at the same time for the same client, not for different clients.  The long piece, by Jason Ashlock, describes an evolving “tragedy of the commons” and seems also to allude to concerns about amateurism that we’ve seen discussed already with respect to Web publishing. 

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