If you didn’t read about the agency Donadido and Olson embezzling over the weekend, you should look it up if you’re a traditional author. In posts over the next few weeks, Kristine Katherine Rusch gives her opinion and advice on things. Basically, the bookkeeper for the agency embezzled millions that they know of since 2011. They’re not sure of the exact amount because he’s been there since 1999. He’s the ONLY bookkeeper. And Kristine Kathryn Rusch says that ALL agencies run things this way. And a lot of best-selling authors are on the verge of bankruptcy right now because of the embezzling. Her advice was to think about how many brand-name authors say there’s no money in the writing business. And she further suggested to think: ALL of them have agents. The agency above has known about the embezzling since last fall. Last fall! The authors are taking legal direction against the agency but as she said, we’re talking MILLIONS of dollars, how are they going to be able to reimburse their authors?
She says that she’s been with four agencies over the years and two of them are still embezzling from her, the other two she didn’t give the chance to. She recommends that you have your publisher split payments, so no money goes to the agent but their 15% to avoid temptation. The point on all of this has got me thinking about traditional publishing. I still want to do so, but I’m thinking I might forego the agencies and submit projects on my own. I will hire a lawyer for the contract but otherwise be in charge of things myself. We’ll see how this all works out here. The reason I more or less wanted an agent was to steer me through the contract stuff, but I know it’s time I learn the contract language and then let a lawyer come in and finish up.
I’ve researched publishers who take unsolicited manuscripts and there are loads, some even in the big five. It’s going to be a scary learning curve but at least if I mess up, it’s on me. And if things don’t work out, I will consider going Indie where there will be more learning curves to get through.