Hi Miss Snark I have an anthology idea and want to include authors who are 1) not pubbed with my house and 2) not represented by my agent. (they are all agented and pubbed by different major NY houses). None of us are "big" names but (I believe) all on the cusp and we have diverse readers, though write in the same general genre.
How do I approach this with my agent? (Basically, I don't want to look stupid ... been there, done that.) Is it even kosher to suggest an anthology without a common agent/agency or house?
What are the logistics of something like this (my agent is the best of the bunch; I'd want her to negotiate and her lawyers to review the contract) but do all agents get a cut? Is it split like royalties in an anthology? Am I even making sense? I think I have a great idea but just need some impartial, professional advice on how to put it together.
The first thing you need is a publisher. Pitch the idea of the anthology and see if it flies. Your agent can help with this part.
When writers contribute to an anthology it's frequently done on a flat fee basis, like a work for hire. You want to avoid the 25 way royalty splits at all costs. There's some prestige in being included in an anthology so writers are willing to do this.
The writers can work it out with their own agents on how to split the dough. My clients don't have to fork over for work I didn't sell for them but I do always review any contract they sign. I look on anthologies as a good way to get my clients' names out in the world, and I'm not going to kibosh a deal over 15% of nothing.
Anthologies are a hellacious amount of work. They can be a lot of fun (Brooklyn Noir 1 did 25 readings in Brooklyn during the summer of 2004 and lots of them were in bars-Miss Snark's venue of choice for all festive events).