One of those niches, I believe, is underway at JAbberwocky Literary Agency Inc., where Joshua Bilmes and his team are capitalizing on their authors’ out of print backlists to re-issue professional produced eBooks outside of a traditional publisher/agent/author royalty relationship. The agency publishes the eBooks itself, acquires art for the cover, and takes a smaller cut of each sale than a publisher would. Given the attention big publishing would provide to backlist eBooks, the lack of marketing dollars at a literary agent seems less an issue. This project is more about ensuring the work continues to be available and that, if an author has enough available work, it might provide a (very) modest, consistent income stream. If you ask me, this is publishing card counting. It’s manipulating the stacked deck in your favor. I love it.
Here are two Tim Akers novels, with new (to the US) art by Luis Melo, created by JAbberywocky’s eBook team:
In other news (and completely unrelated to agencies as publishers, I find this cover of Jonathan Carroll’s Bathing the Lion stunning.
Now, read the blurb,
Five people who live in the same New England town go to sleep one night and all share the same hyper-realistic dream. Some of these people know each other; some don’t.
When they wake the next day all of them know what has happened. All five were at one time “mechanics,” a kind of cosmic repairman whose job is to keep order in the universe and clean up the messes made both by sentient beings and the utterly fearsome yet inevitable Chaos that periodically rolls through, wreaking mayhem wherever it touches down—a kind of infinitely powerful, merciless tornado. Because the job of a mechanic is grueling and exhausting, after a certain period all of them are retired and sent to different parts of the cosmos to live out their days as “civilians.” Their memories are wiped clean and new identities are created for them that fit the places they go to live out their natural lives to the end.
For the first time all retired mechanics are being brought back to duty: Chaos has a new plan, and it’s not looking good for mankind…
I am intrigued. #Discuss.