The Future for Agents

A panel of agents will discuss ebook publishing, declining advances, global deals, open markets, and the role of the agent in self-publishing.

Many agents are thinking about how their business model might change. More than a handful in the English-speaking world seem to be setting up ebook publishing capabilities. Others are providing consulting services to help their authors find other ways to self-publish.

This is a course about which many agents, and certainly many publishers, are quite wary. Until recently, it was pretty universally considered “not ethical” for an agent to take fees from clients or potential clients. The discussion of agent models has a long history. Agent Scott Meredith was castigated in the US over a generation ago for charging “reading fees” for unsolicited manuscripts. In the 1960s and 1970s, agent fees grew from the prior standard of 10% to the now-standard 15%, and those who moved first were often criticized for doing so.

The discussion at Publishers Launch Frankfurt will feature agents from several different countries discussing the future they see in a world where the advances paid by publishers seem to be declining and the viable self-publishing options for authors seem to be proliferating.


Michael Cader
Publishers Lunch and

Michael Cader is the creator of Publishers Lunch, the largest-circulation book publishing industry publication in the world, and its companion website, which offers comprehensive news, databases, tools and more for book publishing professionals. For 15 years he created and produced over 300 books through his book packaging company, Cader Books.


Peter S. Fritz
Literary Agent, Paul & Peter Fritz AG, Zurich

The Fritz Agency has over 40 years’ experience licensing translation rights to German language publishers on behalf of agents and publishers in the English speaking world. While it continues to focus on the role of foreign rights agency, it is gradually expanding its services as a full service author agency, representing German language writers domestically and internationally.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman of Trident Media Group

After 24 years at the William Morris Agency, Gottlieb started Trident Media Group, LLC in September 2000 where he now serves as Chairman. Robert Gottlieb presently represents many best-selling authors. He has consulted with the Vatican and the Russian Cultural Ministry in connection with intellectual property rights. He attends the London Book Fair and Frankfurt Book Fair each year with his team of foreign rights agents and oversees the foreign rights department as well at Trident.

Mr. Gottlieb built his stellar reputation by being the first and the most effective literary agent to brand authors. He works across all genres, in both fiction and non-fiction. His successes over the years include international bestselling authors Tom Clancy, Dean Koontz and Janet Evanovich. He continues to grow his list of authors which currently include international bestselling authors Deepak Chopra, Catherine Coulter, Elizabeth George, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kat Martin, Mary Alice Monroe, and Karen Robards.

Mónica Martín
Agent/Founder, MB Agencia Literaria

David Miller
Director, Rogers, Coleridge and White Ltd.

David Miller was born in Edinburgh and educated in Canterbury and Cambridge. He joined Rogers, Coleridge & White in 1990, becoming a director in 1997. He served as Treasurer of the Association of Author’s Agents and, in 2008, was awarded the Orion Publishing Group Literary Agent of the Year Awards. He has been an advisor to the Literature Department of the British Council as well as the Creative Writing course at Edinburgh Napier University and is the author of a short novel, TODAY (Atlantic) published earlier this year. His clients include Nicola Barker, John Burnside, Nigel Farndale, Kirsty Gunn, Victoria Hislop, Magnus Mills, Cynthia Ozick, Tim Parks and Kate Summerscale.