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  1. #1
    Sharon Ihrig

    Editor vs Publisher vs Agent

    I can't seem to get a good read on how any of these pair off against each other. Any wisdom offered would be greatly apprechiated, many thanks

  2. #2
    Mya Bell

    Re: Editor vs Publisher vs Agent

    I'm not quite sure what you mean, Sharon. If they're pairing off against each other, they're not working together and that's not a "win" situation.

    Perhaps this very brief overview will help clarify the issues for you:

    Represents him or herself through his or her firm.
    Makes administrative decisions on what types of books to accept, print, and promote. Hires editors, proofreaders, office staff, and marketing professionals. Runs the business in terms of salaries, payments, policies, and interaction with others in the publishing industry. Physically prints or electronically prints the written works or contracts them out to physical printing presses or ebook "presses." Pays the writer an advance (and royalties once the advance is earned out) on accepted manuscripts that make it to print, according to the terms of a contract between the publisher and a writer. Markets the written works and ensures distribution to bookstores and reputable reviewers.

    Represents the publisher.
    An acquisitions editor makes editorial decisions on which written works might interest the publisher. These may be individual works or books for a series. A book or magazine editor may make acquisitions decisions (depending upon the size of the publisher) and will make editorial decisions on individual works and liaise with authors to correct or change manuscripts, if needed. An editor makes suggestions to the publisher and marketing professionals about the tone, content, and spin of a book and attends meetings with the publisher to promote and select which books to print. Editors representing larger publishers will often supervise proofreaders (who check grammar, spelling, etc.) and proofeditors (who check writing style, plot, dialog, and sometimes grammar and spelling).

    Represents the writer.
    Aids the writer in promoting his or her written works to publishers and to editors representing larger publishers. Aids the writer in contract negotiations and sometimes legal issues (some literary agencies have in-house legal departments). Takes a 10-15% commission out of the writer's advance and royalties after successful placement and payment of the author's written works. Charges reasonable "out-of-pocket" postage and photocopy fees to the writer, up to a maximum of about $200/annum, usually after successful placement of a manuscript.

    Represents him- or herself (or his or her business entity).
    Creates written works and seeks publication through publishers via communication with editors or agents working on the writer's behalf. Receives an advance against future sales in one or more installments upon signing of a contract with the publisher. Once the advance against sales has been earned out, the author receives royalties of 8-15% (the royalty should increase as more books are sold) depending upon whether it is nonfiction or fiction. If an agent is involved, the agent is paid 10-15% of the advance and 10-15% of any royalties that are paid after the advance has been earned out.

    This is a bit simplistic, in order to keep it short, Sharon, but I hope it can help answer some of your questions.

    --- Mya Bell

  3. #3
    James Macdonald

    Re: Editor vs Publisher vs Agent

    Or, consider this:

    An agent is the author's advocate.

    An editor is the reader's advocate.

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