Just a fascinating piece, well written, considered and also in a sense really critical to understanding the developments in the industry over the last few years and in the next few decades:
If authors are closer to their agents, how does this affect the workings between editor, agent and author? Most editors I spoke with had good relationships with most agents, and they particularly appreciated having an agent around in times of dispute—as a mediator between themselves and the author. Rachel Kahan, senior editor at GP Putnam’s Sons, said, ‘Most agents are pretty good at coming to your aid when you have someone unreasonable.’ Julie Grau told of the time when she had developed such a close relationship with Irish writer Nuala O’Faolain that the author fired her agent. ‘What do I need an agent for?’ O’Faolain had said. Grau told me it was the worst thing that could have happened. ‘The agent was a buffer, she allowed the boundaries to be kept.’ None the less it’s worth nothing that the editor-author relationship continued between Grau and O’Faolain until the writer’s death last year.