Bloomsbury UK has announced plans to hire 100 new employees ‘‘across all areas of the company’’ to lighten the workload for existing staff. A survey of UK publishing recently reported ‘‘industry-wide burnout.’’ A spokesperson told The Bookseller, ‘‘These positions are targeted where our business is growing, where we want to increase support for our authors and grow the global presence of our most important brands, and where we know there are pinch points for our staff. As they join Bloomsbury, these new colleagues will help our existing staff with workloads achieving, we hope, a better work-life balance.’’
The Association of American Literary Agents (previously known as the Association of Authors’ Representatives) has announced revisions to their Canon of Ethics, the guidelines for appropriate practices for agents. The changes include ‘‘clarifications and updates focused on modernizing’’ the rules, including new ‘‘parameters… to allow AALA members to take on paid editorial work for non-client authors while maintaining the organization’s rigorous commitment to the highest standards of ethical representation.’’ According to the new rules, member agents ‘‘may provide editorial services in exchange for a fee to authors who are not clients’’ as long as they don’t nudge authors who query toward those services. ‘‘At no time may members respond to an author who approaches them only for literary representation by instead suggesting or directing the author to pay for editorial services.’’ They also allow agents to receive payment for teaching classes and appearing at conferences, in recognition of the fact that ‘‘many literary agents currently struggle to support themselves by agenting alone.’’ The changes also prohibit members ‘‘from accepting producer fees without the client’s prior written informed consent,’’ and eliminate packaging fees: ‘‘Members are prohibited from participating in packaging fees on deals for television and film adaptations of their client’s work that are completed after the Effective Date of this Canon of Ethics.’’ The changes were made ‘‘after consultation with the full AALA membership as well as with the Authors Guild and Writer Beware. It is not a step that has been made quickly or taken lightly.’’ The revised Canon is here: <aalitagents.org/canon-of-ethics>. The AALA also hopes to expand its membership ‘‘beyond just those involved in the selling of rights and those who meet a specific sales threshold,’’ and can now be joined by other agency employees, ‘‘including members of contracts departments, accounting departments, and other teams within agencies engaged in the support of author care.’’ They’ve eliminated the separate ‘‘full’’ and ‘‘associate’’ memberships, but added an ‘‘educational tier’’ to allow non-members to access some programs and services.
This report and more like it in the June 2022 issue of Locus.
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