DBW Insights: Richard Curtis

Richard CurtisIn this exclusive interview, Richard Curtis, President of Richard Curtis Associates, Inc., and Founder of E-Reads, discusses the changing role of the agent, early ebooks, and self-publishing.

From the interview:

Because agents found themselves more and more providing services that they never needed to in the past: a cover approval, correcting cover copy, editing, spellchecking authors manuscripts, marketing, and other tasks that should be the publisher’s, but the publishers either can’t or won’t do some of these things. They keep pushing the burden of responsibility back on to the author. And the author, if the author can’t do it or is helpless or doesn’t want to, the agent has to do it.

A joint production of Digital Book World and Astral Road Brand Media: http://www.astralroad.com/

2 thoughts on “DBW Insights: Richard Curtis

  1. Ilya Kralinsky

    This is a great — fantastic. I’m glad someone is finally doing some math as regards the industry, because publishers are, indeed, doing less — EVERYone’s doing less. What author wouldn’t be willing to make their work more viable through editing and reworking their book? What author is unable? And if authors edit, produce their covers, design their content and knock on doors, so to speak, to sell the thing because they believe in it so much, while POD is becoming more accessible as an outsourced printer, why in the hell wouldn’t someone simply put their stuff out there and promote it? Believe in your work, go out and do it; that’s it. And if you need the time to promote, learn to adopt a leaner writing and promotion model.

    Bravo to you, Richard Curtis. Good job.

  2. Peter Bowerman

    Really eye-opening. I knew publishing houses didn’t do much for authors as far as marketing (sort of the cornerstone of my book on self-publishing), but realizing that a lot of production issues – which I always believed to be some of the few things under their purview – are now being passed to agents, makes the traditional publishing model even less appealing.

    In light of all that, it’s funny how landing a traditional publisher is still considered the “gold standard,” the Holy Grail as far as aspiring authors are concerned. Look at the focus of the lion’s share of most writers’ conferences: it’s still about how to get picked up by a publishing house. This, despite the fact that if you do reach this glorious pinnacle, you give up control over the timetable (which can easily stretch to 18-24 months), you give up creative control over the process, you give up the rights, you give up most of the profits, and even with that lousy deal, you’re still expected to handle most of the marketing, AND according to Curtis, a lot of production details as well.

    All of which is what I tell aspiring self-publishers in my book, though when I update it in a few years, it’ll include stuff like this…




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