PBS Media Shift, June 2011

Literary Agents Try New Role as Self-Publishing Consultants

PBS Media Shift, June 16, 2011

by Carla King

With big publishing buying only the crème de la crème of books, and more authors turning to self-publishing, many literary agents are getting squeezed right out of the middle.

But some savvy agents are acting as literary consultants to help their authors self-publish, a role that offers up new opportunities and challenges for everybody in the industry.

I talked with three agents about their experiments to serve authors by widening their middle ground.

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Overweight Sensation

Mark CohenCulture journalist Mark Cohen‘s Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman, the first full-length biography of one of America’s greatest comedians, a coarse voice singing off-key about seltzer, the garment industry, and why being a knight wasn’t really so great (aluminum pants), for publication in time for the 50th anniversary of Sherman’s greatest hit, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh,” to Stephen Hull at the University Press of New England.