Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Macmillan's controversial deal for new authors

Macmillan has come out with a fancy deal for new authors and it has already attracted controversy.

As per the scheme, new writers can now directly send their manuscripts to Macmillan. This means completely bypassing the age-old route of going to a publisher through an agent. This is good news for writers who can't even get picked up by snooty agents!

However, there is a downside too. There are no big, fat advances in case Macmillan chooses to publish the work. In fact, there is no advance at all. The author will get royalties based on actual sales.

The critics of this scheme are calling it a scam. It will deprive new authors of their economic opprtunities, they say. The supporters of the scheme argue that it will help spot new talent who are filtered out by agents.

I like what Jamie Byng of Canongate Books says: "Anyone who is ambitious for their book won't go down this route. But then you don't have to do it. The deal is fine, it's OK. If you'd spent years and years working on your novel and no agent will look at it you'd be bloody grateful for this. Good luck to them."

What do you think?


bibliobibuli said...

Yes, I read this the other day. Interesting that a major publisher is going down this route - is it a sign of things to come??

Zafar Anjum said...

Thanks Sahron. I see it more as an experiment than anything else.