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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got this in my author email today (I added the bolded italics). Looks legit. The email seems to check out. Mark Gottlieb seems to check out. Trident Media Group (New York, not DC or LA) seems to check out. Their website checks out. Okay. I believe the basics, I think.

But do I believe their claims? Are they really as big and effective as they say?

Message Details:
Name Literary Agent Mark Gottlieb
Subject Prospect of Literary Representation
Message Dear David, Congratulations on the Hugo nomination! Might you be interested in the prospect of literary representation into major trade publishing? To tell you a little bit about our literary agency, which closes more deals for authors than any other agency worldwide: tridentmediagroup.com Trident Media Group (TMG) is a prominent literary agency located in New York City that originally formed in 2000. TMG represents over 1,000 bestselling and emerging authors in a range of genres of fiction and nonfiction, many of whom have appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers Lists and have won major awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the P.E.N. Faulkner Award, the P.E.N. Hemingway Award, The Booker Prize, and the L.A. Times Book Award, among others. TMG is one of the world's leading, largest and most diversified literary agencies. For more than ten consecutive years, TMG continues to rank number one for sales according to publishersmarketplace.com in North America. TMG is the only U.S. literary agency to consistently be in the top ten in both UK fiction and UK non-fiction and has ranked as highly as number one in UK fiction deals. I look forward to hearing from you. All the best, Mark Mark Gottlieb Literary Agent Trident Media Group, LLC 41 Madison Avenue, Floor 36 New York, NY 10010 www.tridentmediagroup.com

And, I'm doing six figures as an indie. I'd like to get better representation in the traditional print channels and/or foreign rights, TV and movie options, etc., but I'm leery of giving up too much control. I've tried to educate myself about traditional publishing (reading KKR's business blogs, for example) but I know I have a lot to learn. Is there anyone here who's started as a successful indie and moved into being a hybrid with the tradpubs? What are the pitfalls? My initial instinct is to be very cautious, as if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But the Hugo nomination could open up opportunities like this, so what do I do with it? I'd love to only sell print rights, the way Hugh Howey did, or some foreign language rights, and hang on to my ebook rights, as I believe I can do better and keep more by managing them myself. Audiobooks are a possibility.

Thoughts?
 

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They're about as legit as it gets. If Gottlieb is interested it's a Pretty Big Deal and he seriously thinks the agency can do a lot for you. I'd at least talk to the guy and see what he has to say.

They are big. They are very, very effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
C. Gockel said:
I just want to say congrats! Well done.
Thanks. As we poker players say, I've tried to put myself into a position to get lucky, and it seems I have. Or, as another quote goes, it takes years to become an overnight success. I submitted a story to a Jerry Pournelle anthology (There Will Be War X), got accepted, then suddenly got nominated for a Hugo in a relatively easier category (novelette - novels, novellas and short stories seem much more competitive), and boom, somebody notices me after 4 years and 25 books as an indie...

I'll be going to WorldCon in KC, but I don't think I have a snowball's chance of winning...not with a Stephen King novelette in there. But the nom is nice, and the networking will be nice.
 

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Congrats Dave, both on the nomination and these opportunities.

David VanDyke said:
I'd love to only sell print rights, the way Hugh Howey did, or some foreign language rights, and hang on to my ebook rights, as I believe I can do better and keep more by managing them myself. Audiobooks are a possibility.
Please let us know how this goes. This just seems like the best of both worlds and I'd love to know that it's an option for some indies in the future. I don't know how many of the things Hugh Howey did are possible any more...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cherise Kelley said:
So will I. Maybe we should have a KBoards breakfast meeting or something. :)
Sounds like a plan. I'll be there for the whole week, Tuesday through Monday, though I got a room off-site and a rental car to save more than 50%...hopefully parking costs won't kill my plan.

As for how Hugh Howey did it...my theory is, everything is negotiable, depending on how bad who wants what. I wouldn't give up my ebook rights on my backlist without a huge deal. I might for a new book, if it were a big enough deal. But, it would really have to be a no-kidding 6-figure deal, because a new series book 1 will probably gross me $100K over the next 2-3 years, not counting sequels. As I said, I'm really more interested in some form of print only deal, even if it had only a small advance, as I'm convinced I can do just fine with my own ebooks.
 

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Congratulations and it sounds like you've got a firm grasp of what you want and what you're worth. That puts you head and shoulders above many who get the email.
 

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Congratulations on the Hugo nomination!

And yes, Trident is for real. I remember submitting stuff to them back when I was on that hamster wheel.
 

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He's sent this email to lots of bestselling indie authors. It seems like he's trolling the lists for people who might need representation. I'd make sure to ask a ton of questions before getting involved, since it was pretty clear to some of us who were contacted he had zero idea about our work etc. (He didn't even do the 10 second search on me it would have taken to see I was already agented, ha).

An agent can be useful, but make sure it is someone familiar with your work and your goals who will work FOR you.  I personally am wary of any agent who has to send form letters to drum up clients.
 

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SevenDays said:
They're about as legit as it gets. If Gottlieb is interested it's a Pretty Big Deal and he seriously thinks the agency can do a lot for you. I'd at least talk to the guy and see what he has to say.

They are big. They are very, very effective.
Exactly this. Your nomination is what put you on their radar. If you want representation, they're worth talking to. And if it's not, there's no harm in saying "Thanks, but no thanks."
 

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I'm no expert here, but I think it's at least worth a conversation. Just go in being clear about what you want. And if you end up signing a contract, get someone like The Passive Guy to look over it for you.

Going trad didn't do badly for Andy Weir and the aforementioned Hugh Howey.

Not sure a publisher will accept a print-only deal these days, but might be worth going trad for a new book/series.

Also, listen to what Annie says. She knows stuff.

Brilliant news about your Hugo nom. Best of luck and have a blast at Worldcon :)
 

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An agent should be supporting your career; that includes your self-publishing choices. Ask them what they think of self-publishing and if they foresee any problems with you continuing to do so (I'm assuming you want too?). See what the contract is like; can you get out with 30 days written notice? What's their cut? Will they consider paperback only deals? (You keep ebook rights). Make sure they don't charge anything up front.

*I'm a hybrid author. 
 

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David VanDyke said:
Sounds like a plan. I'll be there for the whole week, Tuesday through Monday, though I got a room off-site and a rental car to save more than 50%...hopefully parking costs won't kill my plan.

As for how Hugh Howey did it...my theory is, everything is negotiable, depending on how bad who wants what. I wouldn't give up my ebook rights on my backlist without a huge deal. I might for a new book, if it were a big enough deal. But, it would really have to be a no-kidding 6-figure deal, because a new series book 1 will probably gross me $100K over the next 2-3 years, not counting sequels. As I said, I'm really more interested in some form of print only deal, even if it had only a small advance, as I'm convinced I can do just fine with my own ebooks.
Congrats on the approach and yes Trident are good, but VERY unlikely any big trade pub will go for a print-only deal as it's cutting out a major part of their potential profits. (I'm also repped by a Big Kahuna agency and publishers won't even have that conversation). More likely they'll look for something new from you and do a print/ebook deal with that. Best of luck either way!
 

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Some trad publishers will consider print only deals still. It's rare, but not impossible. Even if you aren't Hugh levels of sales.
 

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Annie B said:
Some trad publishers will consider print only deals still. It's rare, but not impossible. Even if you aren't Hugh levels of sales.
Annie, can you name some recent print-only deals? I'm asking because I've actually been researching this, but couldn't find any recent deals.
 

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Well done and congratulations. Don't dismiss this opportunity, just because you're doing well as an indie. It could allow you to reach more markets and more readers. A good publisher and agent can really expand your reach - plus it takes some of your eggs out of Amazon's basket - and that can ONLY be a good thing!
 
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