Today marks the last day of NANOWRIMO, and many writers who have worked hard all month long to complete manuscripts are now thinking about their next step: publication. E-book publication continues to be a popular option for both new and established authors, using either digital-only publishers or self-publishing platforms. With the success of this new method of publishing changing the industry quickly, many wonder what will happen to the one of the most important roles in print publishing: the literary agent.
Traditionally, literary agents have acted as the gatekeepers of the publishing industry, ensuring that publishers receive only the best manuscripts from the most talented authors. The “big six” publishers — Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Hachette, Penguin and Simon & Schuster — have relied on literary agents to provide them with quality writing fit for print publication.
But is there room for literary agents in this new e-book era of publishing? Smashwords certainly thinks so. Smashwords, the world’s largest independent e-book publisher, has recently revised their policy in regards to literary agents and has even introduced new services for literary agents, making their role of publishing gatekeeper just as significant in the digital world as it is in the print world.
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