Dean Wesley Smith knows the answer to this question:
For any of you who missed my last post about agents, just remember I told you to wait two years before hiring any agent. Imagine last week when I did that post you had hired an agent at Trident Agency. Then you woke up this morning and realized that the Trident Agency had just this morning (Monday morning, September 26th, 2011) stepped over the ethical line and became a publisher.
Now Trident has never been known for ethical behavior in publishing, but they are large, which is why this is surprising.
My handy Oxford American Dictionary defines publisher as “A person or firm that issues copies of a book to the public.”
Yet Trident is claiming they will not be a publisher, even though they will, for their clients, both front list and backlist, issue books to the public by launching them on Kindle, B&N, Smashwords, and into print form. Also, they will handle all the money.
Not a publisher? Uhh, how stupid do they think writers are?
Actually, they think and know for a fact that as a class, writers are as stupid as it goes.
Which is why they can become a publisher, do all the things a publisher will do, exactly, and yet say to their writers, “Oh, we are not a publisher.”
And writers will believe them.
Why? Because, as a class, a writer can’t open the dictionary and look up the word. And then think.
So now writers will be hiring a stranger to sell their books to publishers, get all the money and the paperwork, and at the same time be hiring a stranger to publisher their book, get all the money and the paperwork.
So a writer has a book, gives the book to their agent to sell.
Agent has two options: 1) Agent can make 15% by selling book to Pocket Books. Or 2) agent firm can make 15% PLUS publishing fees by publishing it themselves and make a ton more money (and have more opportunity to keep some of the money that the author doesn’t pay attention to). Hmmmmmm……… Which way will the agent go????
Oh, yeah, to the money. Duh….
Link to the rest at Dean Wesley Smith